The Curious Case of Buffmander and his Merry Band!


Time to get buff and tough!!

Or, a tale of why sharing is not always caring.

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to dissect a sticky rules debate raging across ye old interwebs about how to interpret a new rule involving Tau. Read along my intrepid friends and we shall get to the bottom of this.

So first of all, caveat: until we have the book in our hands, this is all theoretical. Moving on.

What’s the big deal?

Well, due to a typically ambiguously worded rule from GW in regards to the new Tau “Decurion” style detachment, the Hunter Contingent, we’re left with a huge discrepancy among gamers as to how to interpret a command benefit for that detachment.

The rule in question: Coordinated Firepower

Whenever a unit from a Hunter Contingent selects a target in the shooting phase, any number of other units from the same Detachment who can still shoot can add their firepower to the attack. These units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit–this includes the use of Marker Light abilities. When 3 or more units combine their firepower, the firing models add 1 to their Ballistic Skill.

We all read that and something slightly different occurs in our minds. I read it and immediately assumed it meant you pool the various unit’s weapons and resolve them as if you were shooting a unit with mixed weapon types, follow the normal shooting rules in the BRB with the exception that Marker Light counters could overlap between units. However, a number of people have read it differently to assume that it means they behave–literally–as a single unit and therefore gain the benefits of any various buffs associated with any of the firing units. This obviously leads to the idea of using Buffmander (aka a Tau Suit Commander with various signature systems) to give all contributing units his buffs such as Ignores Cover, Twin Linked, Tank Hunter, Monster Hunter, etc. These wargear items all read that they impact his unit.

lol what

I tend to lean on the conservative side of any rules interpretation anyway, and so my reaction to it was normal for me: assuming the shots all just came in at the same time. My reaction to other folks saying that they all became one unit and all got Buffmander’s buffs was to laugh and wave it away as a small group of players simply trying to gain maximum advantage from a poorly worded rule. No one could seriously think that theoretically an entire army could benefit from a single model’s upgrade, right? That’s ridiculous. However, to my surprise, many folks were indeed making that very argument. OK, I thought to myself, let me ask some folks I know that are seasoned veterans what their reading of the rule was.

Ben Mohlie, aka Space Curves, aka Captain America, former USA ETC Team Captain, multiple GT winner, actual rocket scientist:

I think the only way in which they are “firing as one unit” is for order of operations and wound pool allocation.

OK cool, so far I am on the right track….

Ben Cromwell, aka Dr. Insanotron, former USA ETC team member, GT winner:

I think it’s pretty clear they would get the bonuses. Shoot as one unit is very clear to me. As is that they all benefit from the same marker lights.

Wait, what? That’s the polar opposite response to mine and Ben M.’s reading of the rule.

Goatboy, BoLS staff writer, Adepticon winner, artist with mad skillz:

I think if they all shoot at the same unit, they get all the bonuses to that one unit. If they split fire they lose the bonus because it’s not at the target unit.

Uh…OK, that is totally different from either response.

Nick Rose, aka Darkwynn, GT winner, USA ETC team member:

The starting unit that shoots has the rules that impact all other contributing units, but only the first unit’s special rules count.

Wha…? 4 different people, all of whom I would consider to be masters of the game with expert level rules knowledge, all give 4 different answers.


I gave the above example to illustrate a point: there are no absolutes in rules interpretations as we are working with a medium that is not clear: language. There are nothing but shades of grey which is why we have rules debates in the first place. So, let us look at this like gentlemen and determine what the facts are, shall we?

What is the discrepancy?

Essentially there are two ways to read the Coordinated Firepower rule to arrive at the various interpretations of it:

  1. Reading #1: The units literally become one unit for that shooting phase, which is why they gain all of the benefits of a model like Buffmander.
  2. Reading #2: The units resolve their shooting using some of the rules for a unit, but do not become an actual unit as defined by the BRB.

Let’s apply some logic to these interpretations:

Reading #1:

When using the Coordinated Firepower special rule, all participating units become 1 unit for the duration of that shooting phase.

  • Buffmander’s special wargear only effects he and his unit.
  • As all contributing units are now in the same unit as Buffmander, they gain the benefits of his special wargear which can grant them Ignores Cover, Twin Linked, and whichever benefit Buffmander selects from the Puretide Engram Neuropchip such as Tank Hunter, Monster Hunter, etc.
  • If any model in the affected “unit of units” is benefiting from an in game effect such as controlling a Skyfire Nexus, the entire combined unit gains the ability to Skyfire, etc.
  • Models with a Target Lock can shoot at a different target to the rest of their unit.
  • A Gargantuan Creature can fire each of its weapons at a different target if desired. Pg. 70 BRB
  • Therefore, when firing these models as “one unit” so long as 1 model in the combined unit fires on the targeted enemy unit they have satisfied the requirement of the Coordinated Firepower rule and all other models in the combined unit with the ability to fire at different targets may do so.

One of the counter arguments I have read in regards to the above, is that Coordinated Firepower states that every unit must fire at the same target unit. If you make that argument, then you are already making the distinction that they are in fact not a single unit and therefore would not gain the above benefits. However, if you are arguing that they become one unit in order to gain said benefits, you must accept everything else that comes along with that, including the ability to divide their fire as a normal unit with the ability to do this could. Nothing in Coordinated Firepower prohibits or alters any other rules for shooting. Also, reading the rules for shooting in the BRB, again, we see the following:

  • Choose a target: Once you have chosen the unit that you want to shoot with, choose a single enemy unit for them to shoot at. Pg. 30 BRB
  • Which models can fire: All models in the unit must shoot at the same target unit. Pg. 31 BRB

As with the Coordinated Firepower rule, it indicates that all models in a unit must select the same target unit and every model must fire at that unit. Splitfire, Target Lock, the Gargantuan Creature shooting rules, etc. all break these rules. The same wording that allow these special rules to ignore the normal rules for shooting allow them to ignore the target specification for Coordinated Firepower.

So, taking the next step with this, say you have a unit of two Broadsides with Buffmander attached, one of the Broadsides has a Target Lock. You also have a unit of 3 Stormsurge, and some other unit with a Target Lock on every model. Using the above logic, they all become a single unit and gain Buffmander’s abilities to Ignore Cover, Twin Link, and Tank/Monster Hunter, and then proceed to resolve the shooting attack as one unit. You get something like the image below as a possible example of what happens. Each Stormsurge can fire on 8 different targets a turn, so 24 potential targets for a unit of 3. And every other model with the ability to shoot at something different, also gains the ability. Theoretically, you could shoot every eligible unit on the table with a +1BS, Twin Linked, Ignores Cover, Tank/Monster Hunter shot if you accept this argument.


Problems with Reading #1:

If you argue that they are all one unit attached to a model like Buffmander, which is the only way to gain the benefits of his wargear, that means the unit must abide by all rules for a unit. Coordinated Fire gives no specific exceptions to the normal rules for forming a unit such as:

  • In order for models to form a unit, they must be in unit coherency. Pg.9, 19 BRB.
  • Models not in unit coherency must attempt to get back into unit coherency, including running if they have that option. Pg. 19 BRB
  • Independent Characters cannot form a unit with Monstrous Creatures, Gargantuan Creatures or vehicles. Pg.166, 70 BRB
  • Non-standard units expressly state that they are an exception to the normal rules for units. There is no such exception granted by the Coordinated Firepower special rule to form an illegal unit.
    • Example: Cohort Cybernetica (which allows two units of Monstrous Creatures and an Independent Character to form a unit): All models in this Formation must be fielded as a single unit, even though this is not normally allowed. The Formation’s Tech-Priest Dominus cannot leave this unit. Pg. 66 Cult Mechanicus
    • Example: Dark Artisan (which allows two units of Monstrous Creatures and an Independent Character to form a unit): All units in this Formations must be fielded as a single unit, even though this is not normally allowed. Models with the Independent Character special rule cannot join this unit. Pg.56 Haemonculous Covens

So, we’re already starting to see cracks appear in the argument that all contributing units using Coordinated Firepower literally become one unit. If we assume they all become some mega unit, the rules give us no means of resolving any of these contradictions. In what way are they a unit? At what point do they become a unit? We cannot simply choose to apply some of the rules for a unit and ignore the others. We have no way of resolving these issues without either making up new rules or ignoring current rules.

Reading #2:

When resolving Coordinated Firepower, contributing units use some of the rules for a unit, but do not actually become a unit.

  • Coordinated Firepower: These units must shoot at the same target…
  • This specifies individual units, and implies a distinction between the contributing units. If they actually became 1 unit, they would by default all have to fire at the same target unit and no distinction would need to be made. Pg. 31 BRB.
  • Coordinated Firepower: …resolving their shots as if they were a single unit…
  • The BRB gives us the tools to resolve shooting from a unit with multiple weapon types in the rules for shooting. Pg. 30-31. Models with the ability to reroll specific dice or that have some other special ability, simply roll their shots separately from those that do not have these abilities. And, why specify that they resolve their shots as if they are a unit if they already have become a single unit? Again, an unnecessary distinction.
  • Coordinated Firepower: …this includes the use of Marker Light abilities.
  • Again, if they became one unit, Marker Lights would not need to be specified as working for all of them as the rules for Marker Lights already state they only work for a single unit. This implies that Marker Lights are the exception to the rule and that the contributing units do not literally become one unit.

Problems with Reading #2:

Which aspects of being a unit do you use and when do they apply? The people arguing for giving Buffmander’s sweet caress to the entire army say that that is the aspect of being a unit they want to focus on. However, looking at the actual verbiage of the rules we have we don’t have a ton to go on, other than resolving their shots as if they were a single unit, and that Marker Lights overlap between these units.

So, how do we determine which aspects of shooting as a unit do we use?

Consider the following order of operations solution to the dilemma:

  1. First Tau unit chooses a target.
  2. Any contributing Tau units also selects the same target unit.
  3. If there are 3 or more contributing units, they all gain +1 BS.
  4. You determine how many Marker Light counters you are going to use and apply the effect of them to every firing unit.
    1. This answers why they have to shoot at the same time: Marker Lights are used BEFORE you roll to hit.
  5. All units fire at the target at the same time with each unit’s specific special rules applying only to it, including the bonuses from the above Marker Light Counters.
  6. Resolve these shooting attacks as you would normally, firing weapons with the same name at the same time, and working through each individual weapon type per normal.
  7. You then allocate wounds per normal, and the target unit takes saves, etc.

Reading #2 provides a solution to the situation that uses only the rules given to us in the Coordinated Firepower definition. It satisfies every condition of the rule. It breaks no other rules of the game.

Reading #1 of the rule breaks other game rules. It creates bizarre situations wherein Buffmander is attached to a vehicle on the other side of the table, where all of the various units are no longer in unit coherency that could not form a unit in the first place, or a model standing on a Skyfire Nexus on one side of the table can give every Tau model on the table Skyfire, etc. It creates questions we have no answers to in the rules and provides us no explanation as to why we should break those rules or explanations of how to as other instances of similar circumstances do.occams razoer

Reading #2 is the simpler of the readings and as Occam’s Razor tells us, the simplest explanation to an argument is usually the correct one. It also answers the question of how they resolve the various Tau unit’s shooting and which aspects of being a unit we use, taking into account only the verbiage of the Coordinated Firepower and BRB rules. Reading #1 requires breaking many of the rules in the game and creating situations that should not be possible. Reading #2 does not.

Therefore, Reading #2 is the more correct interpretation of the rule.



But, this is how I kill Deathstars, you jerk!

Hey, I get it. Tau struggle with Deathstars in a big way and reading the rule the first way would certainly help, but don’t forget that this rule is still mega powerful with the second reading of it! Theoretically, every unit in your army can benefit from a single Marker Light AND gain +1 BS. That’s bonkers good. If you can shoot a Deathstar to death, this allows you to do it. Plus, a true Deathstar doesn’t care about most of Buffmanders abilities. Tank/Monster Hunter and Ignores Cover often don’t do anything to a Deathstar with a high invul save, invisibility, or that can reroll said invul save, has FnP, etc. If you need to Ignore Cover, you can still do so with 2 Marker Lights for every model that fires on the target unit, and another Marker Lights boosts your BS an additional points, so you become extremely accurate, anyway. Wolfstars are gong to die very nearly as easily to reading 2 of the rule as reading 1. What does get owned by reading 1 of the rule is everything else, which is not good for the game, plus it creates illegal units. Trust me, I want Tau to be good and have a means to deal with Deathstars (I oppose them on general principal, lol), but this is a baby with the bathwater scenario. It creates far more problems than it solves.

What I imagine hapenned is that the individual writing this rule was thinking how he or she could write the it in a way that worked with the existing Marker Light rules. Since you use them before the Tau faction unit shoots, in order to allow them to effect multiple units, the rules writer likely came to the conclusion that they’d have to shoot at the same time as if they were a single unit, not that they actually became a single unit. It also creates a risk/reward choice wherein the Tau player has to decide how many shooting resources they will commit to the action before firing. I love the rule in concept, but the wording of it is terrible and confusing.

Hopefully this clears the issue up. Thanks for reading!


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

265 Responses to “The Curious Case of Buffmander and his Merry Band!”

  1. Trueknight October 27, 2015 3:48 pm #

    Sometimes I feel like interpreting GW rules should be a university level course, akin to constitutional Law or the tax code smh lol

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 3:56 pm #

      Lol, I know, it is confusing. The person writing them knows what they mean, but the people reading it can get something totally different. ALL they would have to do is offer it up in beta form first for player feedback to be sure that what people are reading is what they think they are saying.

      • Luke October 28, 2015 3:11 pm #

        Naturally that would be amazing, but lets just start with FAQs shall we?

        You may be right in their rules intent – but how are we supposed to know that? Because it feels too powerful? Didn’t the Necron Decurion seem “too powerful”? Didn’t the space marine demi battle company seem “too good”? Same with War Convocation, Imperial Knight armies back in the day….I could go on. I really don’t think that it’s game-breaking even if interpretation 1 is followed. Yeah you get some bonuses against deathstars. In reality, buffmander can only pass out his abilities against one unit (plus however many target locks you have). Paying 5 points per model for abilities that will be gone as soon as buffmander (who is himself a 135 point model) is gone is really a big investment, plus you give up obsec to gain these benefits. You should be getting something in return – not just markerlights version 2.0. I would advise trying it out and seeing what happens – if it breaks the game then fine ban it on the ITC level. I can respect that. But in a game where we have Wraithknights, I don’t think anything can be viewed as “no way it could be like this because that would break the game” before its even tested out. Really the epitome of judging a book by its cover without any field testing.

      • Sam October 28, 2015 4:31 pm #

        The rule never states it is a single unit. It never even claims it behaves as a single unit during the shooting phase in fact if didn’t even let the units be a single unit in its own turn of shooting. It is only after the unit targets the same target is that specific units shot resolved “as if” it were a single unit but not once does it claim it is treated as a single unit. “As if” is not the same as “it is”. Furthermore the only portion they resolved as if they are a single unit is in the middle of that units shooting atk when you begin to resolve the order of atk.

        This definition is clearly specific on the exact moment it resolves the atk as if it’s a single unit and limits those units to a specific point of resolution and at no point does it make the statement that the multiple units are treated as one unit and even goes to state to resolve thier (as in multiple units) shooting atk.

    • pinkyandthebrain October 30, 2015 12:02 pm #

      It isn’t that complicated. It is complicated in this case though not even remotely close to being unclear, but a decent understanding of English and an ability to follow a process is all that is required. So looking at the “problems” with reading 1, we have first up unit coherency. However you have to already have started the shooting process to create the cogerency issue at which point it is too late to run so due to the timing the coherency rules never come into play.

      Then we have the Monstrous Creature issue. Which again does not apply ICs can’t join MCs using the IC rules. However we are not using the IC rules at all here so that prohibition does not apply. Having MCs mixed in with other units is fine for instance in the Ghost keel unit which has no lengthy explanation (neither does the Riptide) despite having MCs mixed in with other unit types. Also consider that O’Vesa is a MC IC and can join other units including units that include ICs as ICs are not prohibited from being in units with MCs they are simply and only prohibited from joining such units using the IC rules.

      Reading 2s issue is that you have to make up out of thin air when you treat the units as a single unit and when not to. Any interpretation where you have to make up a load of rules is on very Sharkey ground. GW does sometimes write poorly worded rules what doesn’t help is when people take clearly worded rules and try to twist them and claim that their raft of made up rules should apply.

  2. messy0 October 27, 2015 3:54 pm #

    Qell hopefully there will be an errata which proves the correct reading, that buffs are indeed transfered to multiple units from a single unit involved in the coordinated fire power unit.

    I can’t see how it can be read any other way than they are one single unit for the purposes of shooting as thus aquire all of the buffs and benifits of being single unit (for shooting).
    Same with if you have long strike in the coordinated fire power unit. His tank hunter would then be transferred to all units participating. Even after that long winded and overly complicated article I can still see your totally unwilling to a accept the actual intent of the rule. Using the coherency argument is just week. Formations by their very nature go against/chage/enhance existing rules. How is they any different.

    • Narfwak October 27, 2015 3:58 pm #

      Yeah, if there was ever a time for GQ to FAQ/Errata a book this one needs it. Hopefully they actually take a look at it.

      • Reecius October 27, 2015 4:04 pm #

        Highly doubtful, as they don’t FAQ anything, anymore. =/

        • Tetrisphreak October 28, 2015 3:17 am #

          Email them at and encourage the community to so the same. If we flood their inbox with the same question they might address it and put it to bed for everyone.

          • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:15 am

            Yeah, no kidding. Good suggestion!

          • Narfwak October 28, 2015 1:59 pm

            You should make a separate news post just for this to get everyone’s attention.

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 4:02 pm #

      Neither you nor I know the intent. And my long winded and overly complex article explained how I dew that conclusion =P

      Explain to me how these various units all come together to form 1 unit, though? The rules provide no way to do that. And formations do break the rules, yes, but they almost always tell you they are breaking the rules. For example, Assault Squads in the Skyhammer Annihilation Formation can assault after Deep Striking even though that is not normally allowed and it says that. Every example of this is usually specified.

      And if you think I am a jerk because I am against a 15 point piece of wargear allowing an entire army to ignore cover well then, a jerk I am, lol. That is seriously just silly to expect it to work that way.

      • messy0 October 27, 2015 4:24 pm #

        At the end ofnthe article you basically insinuated you knew what the writer was thinking and inserted your own conclusions. Serious weak sauce dude.

        • Reecius October 27, 2015 5:00 pm #

          Which I preface with, “what I would imagine hapenned…”

          I don’t know how to make it any more clear that it is a guess, haha.

          • messy0 October 27, 2015 5:15 pm

            That’s not how people will read it. Especially when your in a position of influence. it would be better not to assume or “imagain” at all the intent of another without knowledge of their thought process. Which you don’t possess.

        • White925 October 27, 2015 5:04 pm #

          He said what he imagined happened not that he knew what happened.

          • Jural October 28, 2015 11:51 am

            seriously, it is hard to read it any other way…

        • AnEnemy October 27, 2015 9:44 pm #

          Winning’s really important to you isn’t it?

      • Bedrock1 October 30, 2015 11:06 am #

        Well I mean, it does very clearly say:
        “resolving their shots as if they were a single unit–this includes the use of Marker Light abilities.”
        The use of the phrase “as if” clarifies that they are NOT part of the same unit, they are simply treated as being part of the same unit FOR THE PURPOSES OF SHOT RESOLUTION.
        Markerlight abilities are not part of shot resolution, units choose markerlight abilities just after they have declared their target, therefore the use of the word “resolve” is inaccurate. This opens the way for other abilities such as special rules conferred, as abilities like tank hunters and twin-linked either trigger at the same time as markerlights or later, so it’s all good.

        It’s very clear to see that this is how the designers intended the rules to be interpreted. Stating that this rule includes markerlights is a clarification, not an exception. If all special rules that would be conferred to a unit are not conferred to this super unit, it would say “resolving their shots as if they were a single unit–excepting the use of Marker Light abilities, they confer to the unit anyway.” Does that read well? No, because that makes very little sense. Stating that “this includes the use of Marker Light abilities” specifies that this unit counts as one big unit for the purposes of shot-modifying special rules that confer to one unit, a category that includes markerlights, along with anything else that is conferred to the unit, like buffmander does.
        It’s very clear to see here that you took an angle on this rule and ignored evidence or wording that would disagree with it. If you look at your second interpretation of the rules, the more correct one, you say
        “All units fire at the target at the same time with each unit’s specific special rules applying only to it, including the bonuses from the above Marker Light Counters.”
        Giving no justification for it. The rule states that for shot resolution, they count as one unit, and you haven’t justified why, halfway through shot resolution, the units are temporarily being separated again.
        I think this sounds overpowered as crap, but GW has never actually tried to make a balanced game, 7ed Eldar is evidence enough of that. It’s in no way unreasonable to think GW has made another game-breaking formation, they do it all the time these days (except when updating Orks)

      • pinkyandthebrain October 30, 2015 12:33 pm #

        It isn’t that complicated. It is complicated in this case though not even remotely close to being unclear, but a decent understanding of English and an ability to follow a process is all that is required. So looking at the “problems” with reading 1, we have first up unit coherency. However you have to already have started the shooting process to create the cogerency issue at which point it is too late to run so due to the timing the coherency rules never come into play.

        Then we have the Monstrous Creature issue. Which again does not apply ICs can’t join MCs using the IC rules. However we are not using the IC rules at all here so that prohibition does not apply. Having MCs mixed in with other units is fine for instance in the Ghost keel unit which has no lengthy explanation (neither does the Riptide) despite having MCs mixed in with other unit types. Also consider that O’Vesa is a MC IC and can join other units including units that include ICs as ICs are not prohibited from being in units with MCs they are simply and only prohibited from joining such units using the IC rules.

        Reading 2s issue is that you have to make up out of thin air when you treat the units as a single unit and when not to. Any interpretation where you have to make up a load of rules is on very Sharkey ground. GW does sometimes write poorly worded rules what doesn’t help is when people take clearly worded rules and try to twist them and claim that their raft of made up rules should apply.

  3. Darkwynn October 27, 2015 3:56 pm #

    Re read split fire ;). We were talking about this and conclusion we got is they would only fire at two units. So you could have 500000000 units in the strike but they could have those 4999999 fire at that one unit and one fire at a separate unit.

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 3:57 pm #

      Target Lock lets each model with it fire at a different target, bruh =P

      • Darkwynn October 27, 2015 4:12 pm #

        Split fire lets one model fire at a different unit.

        • Reecius October 27, 2015 4:18 pm #

          Yes. But read Target Lock, it is different.

          • Darkwynn October 27, 2015 4:57 pm

            Okay even still. Only the models with target lock can fire at something else. They can shoot at other units but I wouldn’t say they would benefit from the other rules.

          • Reecius October 27, 2015 5:22 pm

            What rules do you base that on?

          • White925 October 27, 2015 5:05 pm

            Why would they not benefit from the other rules? There unit is shooting at the target unit the model is choosing to fire at something else.

        • Narfwak October 27, 2015 4:42 pm #

          Target Lock is and has been a completely different rule. From the book:

          TARGET LOCK
          /Fire caste infantry who carry markerlights are often equipped with hard-wired target locks that allow them to designate priority targets whilst their squad provides covering fire./

          A model with a target lock can shoot at a different target to the rest of his unit.

  4. Adam ( October 27, 2015 3:59 pm #

    Wait, so the only “master of the game” that could possibly be correct is the one that agrees with you?

    I’m sorry dude, but if you’re not resolving their shots as if they were a single unit, you’re not following the rule that tells you to resolve their shots as if they were a single unit… The IC’s joining MC’s and coherency is irrelevant, because you’re not literally creating a unit, you’re just resolving their shots as if they were a single unit. 😛

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 4:03 pm #

      I said they were ALL masters of the game and experts on the rules, brobot! Got to read them letters and such.

      • Adam ( October 27, 2015 4:06 pm #

        Yeah, that’s my point though, they’re all masters, not just Ben Mohlie. 🙂

        • Reecius October 27, 2015 4:18 pm #

          Yes, I said they are all masters, not just Ben Mohlie, lol. Again, read what I wrote, haha.

      • Adam ( October 27, 2015 4:10 pm #

        BTW, you know I’m not saying that it’s not OP, I just think your interpretation is incorrect, haha.

        • Reecius October 27, 2015 4:19 pm #

          I see how you arrive at either conclusion, truly. The wording is terribad for this rule, but I truly feel the language of the rule doesn’t support the more powerful interpretation as stated in the article, but secondly, it would be utterly absurd to let it work that way, haha.

          • Nurglitch October 28, 2015 10:54 am

            Seems obvious that the rule is intended to let multiple units share the benefits of a single unit shooting, such as applying markerlight bonuses to all the firing units. When you consider how Tau units tend to be specialized, and just how much overkill can result from clumsy use of this rule, there shouldn’t be any outrage about how ‘over-powered’ this is. How about playing with it for a while before worrying if the sky is falling?

    • messy0 October 27, 2015 4:29 pm #

      Totally agree with Adam. Half of the arguments were irrelevant. Coherency and the mc/Ic rule have nothing to do with resolving shooting (and only shooting) as one unit. It simply means they share each other benefits for the purposes of shooting “as if they are a single unit”. Any other interpretation is just fishing.

      • Anonymous October 29, 2015 9:48 am #

        My opinion is how everyone else should feel! I’m special! Get a life.

    • Colinsherlow October 27, 2015 10:06 pm #

      The rules says they shoot as if they were a single unit.
      The rule Does not say that they are a single, and everybody benefits from everybody else’s USRs

      Oh GW. Wish they give their rules a little more thought. I think they spend too much time a bugmans pub drinking and designing rules.

  5. Deuce11 October 27, 2015 4:08 pm #

    Reece, you’ve returned my faith that logic and reason can still exists in 40k. THANK You

  6. Jason October 27, 2015 4:14 pm #

    Yes, but how would Reading 2 deal with your Ork Deathstar?

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 4:22 pm #

      Lol, what Deathstar? =P

  7. Jason October 27, 2015 4:25 pm #

    As someone who has no part whatsoever with the tournament or 40k aspect of the company, I think this is a classic case of RAI vs RAW. RAI I believe the designers thought it would be cool for the Tau to be able to coordinate fire from multiple units and increase their BS while doing so and using less marker lights to do so. Very fluffy and not to overpowering. However, the designers forgot that there was a model called the Tau Commander that gives USRs to whichever unit he/she is attached to and of course everyone instantly picked up on that and now we have an issue were a RAW issue. Now, there is NO way that the designers of the new detachment intended for an entire army to benefit from every USR that the Tau Commander attached to a single unit can provide, but as per usual the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing at Games Workshop and well, here we are!

    • messy0 October 27, 2015 4:34 pm #

      So you think the designers forgot one of the most infamous units in the codex.

      I think the the designers saw a good opportunity to maximise tau synergy ( which the whole codex is based on) and give a rule just as powerful as necron decurion, eldar (I’m general), skyhammer or a host of other formations

      None of us are in the writes heads so we should assume we know anything.

      • Jason October 27, 2015 4:49 pm #

        I don’t have a dog in this fight whatsoever, but I do recall a formation in the Dark Angels codex where the designers forgot that their characters don’t have the Ravenguard special rule and listed the formation requirements as having to take a Character with the Ravenguard special rule. That is just what I recall in the past couple of seconds.

        • Narfwak October 27, 2015 5:38 pm #

          That is correct. ITC voted to allow certain characters to count as having the rule so you could actually use it.

      • Mike October 27, 2015 11:45 pm #

        The designers don’t play the game the way the playerbase does. They suddenly decide that Ezekiel should turn into a daemon prince and junk like that. I’d doubt the designers even know what “buffmander” is. They probably never thought of optimizing a tau commander out like that.

        If you want to see some proof that there are codex writers who don’t actually understand how the game works, check out the necron ghost ark’s weapon. Salvo profile on a weapon that ONLY appears on a vehicle, so it can literally always fire the higher number of shots, even if it has to snapshot them. It literally can’t fire the lower number ever.

        • punchymango October 28, 2015 4:29 pm #

          I’d actually love to be a fly on the wall when the designers playtest or theoryhammer some of this stuff, because there seems to be so little in the way of a coherent vision or design philosophy. Was the massive spike in power that was the Eldar book intentional? If so, why? Was it a directive from above, a “Eldar sell like hotcakes so make sure they get a good update and new OP kit people are gonna spam” sort of deal?

          Does someone on the design team just have a huge nerd-boner for Eldar?

          Or do the designers/playtesters live in carebareland where everyone names their squad leaders and kits them out with tons of bling, just like in the fluff? When they create units like Mutilators or Pyrovores, are they playing the game so casually that it’s just not clear that these units suck?

          I’m not being facetious, I genuinely want to know.

      • Jural October 28, 2015 11:54 am #

        Yes- I think it’s totally plausible that when the designers were making rules they forgot about other parts of the codex.

        Please look at the Ravenwing formation and then look at all of the options in the Dark Angels book to choose a second HQ with the Ravenwing modifier.

    • Narfwak October 27, 2015 5:37 pm #

      I don’t know, it’s not just the Commander that buffs stuff – in fact, while he’s probably the most used he’s not actually the best example since he does it via relic items. Better examples would be the Cadre Fireblade (pulse weapons in the unit fire an extra time if they don’t move) or Darkstrider (-1T to enemies targeted by his unit during their shooting). There’s also the Ethereal Storm of Fire Invocation, but I’m not sure if that qualifies or not since it has a range requirement specified in the ability.

      Honestly, Tau HQ design is all about buffing the abilities and shooting of their unit and nearby units. That’s another reason why I’m not so quick to jump to the RAI being what Reece is saying it is.

    • Novastar October 28, 2015 3:19 pm #

      They probally belive no one would be so unsporting as to have a buffmander

  8. Sadclown October 27, 2015 4:30 pm #

    Issues like unt coherency are a red herring as it is an aspect of being in a unit that is wholly distinct from shooting. Skyfire nexus, buffmander, target locks all of it are extremely powerful but it is what the rule states. If the USR wiuld confer to the unit for purposes of shooting, then all units wuod benefit from it:

    The only question I have is must they fire as a single unit or do is there an option to fire as separate unit. I read it as a must. This could be huge in that if unit A fires at unit X then all other units woukd be precluded from firing at it just lke chosing not to fire particular models in yiur unit means you cannot later choose to fire them.

    • Fagerlund October 28, 2015 1:47 am #

      Coherrency isn’t distinct from shooting as it clearly says you have to run to keep coherence which is done in the shooting phase.

    • Jural October 28, 2015 11:55 am #

      Honestly speaking, unit coherency was the first and only thing I thought of when interpreting the “all one unit” intepretation. I think it’s the most important argument.

    • PrimoFederalist October 29, 2015 5:52 pm #

      Why would you convey the Buffmander’s special rules to all of them because they “fire as one unit” but not follow the other rules of them being a unit (i.e. unit coherency requirements)?

      It doesn’t make sense logically.

      • PinkyandtheBrain October 31, 2015 12:43 pm #

        The coherency issue isn’t relevant. Yes if out of coherency you must run if able to do so in the shooting phase. However you can’t run if you are shooting and you do not become a unit until step 2 of the shooting process so it is too late to run at that point. Either Reecius is completely clueless about rules (and hence this entire article should be ignored) or he is intentionally lying to push his opinion (and hence his article and all future articles should be ignored). This is further highlighted by his ludicrous Monstrous Creature claim.

  9. SimonW October 27, 2015 4:38 pm #

    First off, massive thanks for the great content and continued effort to discuss rules issues in such a direct way. It really helps the community!
    That said, I think “as if they were a single unit” is quite clear that, when performing this attack, they are treated as a single unit. Buffmander transfers abilities to his unit, so by RAW the bonuses transfer.
    Some of the counter arguments made in the article relate to “They can’t literally be a unit, because they’re out of coherency, they can have MCs, they can have vehicles, etc”, but none of that matters because it’s not telling you to form a unit with these models in; instead it’s saying that they fire as a single unit.
    So the order of operations would be:
    -Pick target with initial firing unit (and declare any target locked stuff).
    -Add any firing tau units you’d like to this attack against the initial target (and declare any of their target locks). This is where Buffmander transfers all of hits benefits.
    -Resolve all of the shooting for the “mega unit,” including against target locked targets.

    If you guys think it shouldn’t be played like that it’s not a problem (it’s your tournament circuit so your FAQ), but this article feels a bit like you’re making tenuous arguments to justify changing something you think should be different.

    In addition, of the 4 experts you consulted 3 agreed that the bonuses in some way transfer to other units that join in. Ben Cromwell and Nick Rose have basically the same interpretation, although personally I believe Nick’s is technically more correct (i.e. Buffmander’s unit has to declare the initial attack). Goatboy still thinks the rules stack against the initial target, but if we agree that then there’s no reason by RAW the bonuses also shouldn’t transfer against other units that are “target locked.”

    These are the RAW interpretations; if you want to discuss the intent or how you feel it should be played for the benefit of your events, that’s no problem!
    However making the case that yours is the correct, RAW reading when it’s not is potentially damaging to the wider community, because many groups worldwide use you as a lead for how they play or for rules decisions.

    Anyway, thanks once again for all the content, you’re one of the 40k blogs I follow most closely! 🙂

    • messy0 October 27, 2015 4:47 pm #

      Wow dude. Perfectly put. I wish I could have said it as eloquently and concisely.

      • Jason October 27, 2015 4:51 pm #

        Just a guess, but are you a Tau player per chance, lol. Good on you for being so passionate.

    • Hunlow October 28, 2015 9:57 am #

      I think your explanation is confusing.

      You say all the counter arguments are irrelevant because “it’s not telling you to form a unit”. This is implying that all the units firing maintain their unique unit identity.

      Then you continue on in the same sentence and say they fire as a single unit. This I feel then is implying that they are treated as a single unit for the shooting phase.

      This is where I have a problem with you logic. You seem to want the units using coordinated firepower to not be one unit but still act like one unit. And this is where the break in logic appears.

      -If they act like one unit then why are they not subject to ALL the rules governing single units i.e. unit coherency?
      -If they are in essence still separate units what allows their USRs to be shared?

      • SimonW October 28, 2015 1:15 pm #

        Hi! Thanks for replying 🙂
        For the record I don’t even play Tau, but I do think that it’s important to understand what is RAW and what is not, especially when setting an FAQ for tournaments.

        I’m sorry about the confusion. However, when I say “coherency isn’t relevant because it’s not telling you to form a unit,” this doesn’t actually imply that they can’t ever be treated as a single unit.

        The reason I want them not to become one unit but still act like one unit in certain circumstances is because the rule specifically states that this is exactly what happens 😛 ! You should be “resolving their shots as if they were a single unit”; nowhere does it say that they become a single unit, only that they’re treated as if they are for that attack.

        As much as that might sound like having your cake and eating it, unfortunately that is exactly what is written… lol! Thanks GW! Delicious cake…

        Hope that helps! 🙂

        • TinBane October 28, 2015 7:39 pm #

          But that’s the thing. It’s shooting as if it’s a unit.

          Up until the point you start counting up the weapons in each class and resolving them, you can still run.

          So, you declared the first unit you declare the target, and then you work out the extra units you want. At this point, if you are out of coherency. This is different from a gets hot weapon, which is resolved once you start counting up weapons.

          At this point, you can still run, and are obliged to do so.

          It’s neither unreasonable, or unfluffy to assume that this is a requirement. There’s no special dispensation in the rule that makes this negated.

          • abusepuppy October 28, 2015 9:18 pm

            Once you have declared a unit is making a shooting attack, it can no longer run, as you are not allowed to mix the two actions. Running is something you do _instead_ of shooting, not as part of it.

          • TinBane October 29, 2015 12:23 pm

            The rules say you can declare a run at any point before you fire weapons, not at sny point before you declare a target.

        • Hunlow October 29, 2015 8:44 am #

          Hahaha i was totally thinking it’s like having your cake and eating it too! Great minds… am i right!?

          How do you deal with ICs creating a unit that is illegal when joining with MC/Vehicles dilemma?

          • SimonW October 29, 2015 11:40 am

            The same way as above 😛

            They don’t need to form a unit to be treated as one for a specific interaction. You’re only “resolving their shots as if they were a single unit,” meaning that, when you resolve the shots for these units, you do it as if they are a single unit. This definitely doesn’t require them to fulfil every criteria for being a unit, because nowhere does it say they form a single unit.
            It does however mean that Buffmander’s abilities stack, because when you shoot, you’re following the rules for them being a single unit 🙂

            Delicious Tau cake for everyone!

          • TinBane October 29, 2015 12:24 pm

            There’s no exemptions for them being able to form a unit. It doesn’t negate any criteria that exist. Mmm, cake.

          • Hunlow October 30, 2015 5:32 am

            Dear, SimonW

            Ok this is where i feel the interpretation of the rules gets muddy and emphasis is important.

            For sharing USRs you are saying “resolve their shots AS IF THEY WERE A SINGLE UNIT”. Here you put the emphasis on being one singular unit. This is necessary to allow the entire army to share USRs, however in this reading the unit must consistently be treated as such. I’m ok with that but if you are going to treat them as a unit then you must use all the rules for them being a single unit. So Mega unit from start of shooting phase to end of shooting phase no MC/Tanks with ICs.

            In the second post you are saying “ONLY RESOLVE THE SHOTS as if they were a single unit”. The emphasis here is very different than the first. This is implying that it is possible to resolve the shooting phase independent from unit composition. If you argue that position then yes the units are independent and they can all shoot at one enemy BUT the sharing of USRs no longer occurs because it is only an order of operations alteration.

            Arguing you can do both is inconsistent because they are two very different arguments very much independent of each other. Based on the wording of the rules you can either choose to treat it as a unit composition alteration where it is treated as one unit for the entirety of the shooting phase OR as an order of operations modification to the shooting phase without ANY other modifications (because it would only alter the “nominate unit to shoot” section of the BRB). Unfortunately the BRB does not indicate which takes precedence so it’s up to our best judgement.

            I prefer to think that unit composition is independent from the resolution of the shooting phase (i.e. resolution = simply following the steps of the shooting phase and nothing more) however i would be inclined to allow someone to play with the rule that changes the unit composition of their army in the shooting phase as long as they didn’t create illegal units. Thoughts?

          • SimonW October 30, 2015 10:41 am

            Hey Hunlow- I can’t reply directly so I think this is the easiest way 🙂

            I’m not trying to make any points about unit composition changing during a particular phase; for me it’s very clear that you have multiple, separate units the whole time, but for a while they’re treated as if they’re one.
            The full wording is “These units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit.”
            This has no emphasis, and in fact is quite clear that you have units (plural), but they resolve the shots as if they are a unit (singular). 🙂

            The sticking point seems to be the difference between “these models become a unit” and “treat these models as if they are a unit.”
            I’m saying that, because during this interaction they are a being treated as a unit, Buffmander’s abilities apply to all models in his unit (which now is a mega unit).
            As far as I understand, you’re saying that if I’m treating these units as a single unit to resolve the shooting attack, then I need to follow all the rules for being a unit, including coherency, no vehicles, etc, and that not to do so would be inconsistent with the rules for having to be a unit for Buffy to do his thing.

            However, I think it is perfectly consistent within the rules. I’m not forming my models into a unit to resolve combined firepower; that’s definitely not what we do here 🙂 . However, this doesn’t prohibit my models from being treated as a single unit when they do so, which allows Buffy to pass on the benefits at that point.

            -Declare target with initial unit
            -Add other friendly units to the attack. We’re all separate units at this point.
            -Resolve as if all the friendly units were a single unit. This is where, despite still being separate units, I get to use the rules for being a single unit when I shoot. This means I can use Buffy for all the contributing units because they’re treated as a single unit.
            -It never mentions that Buffy has to declare his abilities at the start of the phase, only that they apply to all models in his unit. During this shooting attack, all the models are treated as being in his unit, so they get the benefits. After this shooting attack, they’re no longer being treated as a part of his unit, so don’t get the benefits.
            -Shooting attack finishes. We’re still separate units.

            I feel like there’s not much more I can say to convince you of my point, and nothing you can say to convince me of yours. I think that to say anything else would be going around in circles. I can’t see anything in your posts that refutes my point about the units remaining separate but being treated as one for a specific action, and no doubt you don’t see it in mine, so for now we’ll have to agree to disagree.

            Finally, I would say that, because the units are treated as one, then they would be allowed to form a mega unit. The only restriction is that ICs can’t join a unit that includes MCs or vehicles; and they clearly aren’t doing that here, especially if the IC’s unit declares the initial attack.
            (There’s even a loophole that allows buffmander to join 3 crisis (IC joining a unit with no MC) then on turn 1 O’vesa joins that unit (IC joining a unit with no MC). This is how it’s ruled for the ETC).

            This leads to the only condition being coherency if you believe that they have to follow all the rules for being a unit, and I think that it’s not hard to place a tau army so that some bit of each unit is within 2″ of another unit in some big chain. In fact you even see it all the time with supporting fire 😛 !

          • Hunlow October 30, 2015 1:30 pm


            I just want to say I disagree with you. I have found this exchange and your posts to be very insightful and I appreciate you keeping a positive tone! I am still relatively new to table top WH40k and have never experienced this fervent a rules debate!

            I think I have a better idea of your point of view and I think that we both agree a Tau army never becomes a single unit. I feel, after reading your last post, we are more debating when a USR would be conferred.

            I see resolving shooting as an order of operation you plug your units into, now as the word “unit” because of coordinated firepower, and has no bearing on if units get to share USRs.

            It seems to me that to you resolution of the shooting phase, in addition to the order of operation, confers USRs by treating them as a single unit.

            This would then be a completely different argument than Reecuis was discussing in the article. I have to be honest I’m not sure of when USRs are applied. Is it at the beginning of every step in a phase? I know in the movement phase moving an IC into a unit lets you combine USRs but are there any other rules governing how they work?

          • SimonW October 31, 2015 3:36 am

            No problem! I’ve been playing quite a long time, but everyone starts somewhere! I’ve also enjoyed the way our discussion has refrained from the level of saltiness elsewhere in the thread. If you enjoy fervent rules debates, then 40k is the place for you! I always find that rising above any “sarcastic reply” reflex takes the debate much further and help gets closer to a resolution, which should be the point anyway! Unless you’re just trolling someone you know is a douche… 😉

            [Hint: try explaining to someone next time they use it how Gate of Infinity doesn’t work because, although it tells you to use the rules for Deep Strike, these rules state that you need to be in reserves and have the Deep Strike special rule, etc. In fact you can make the case that, as soon as it’s manifested, the unit is removed from the board but can’t then Deep Strike, so is dead!? FU Centstar!?
            It’s a ridiculous argument, and it never gets ruled that way for obvious reasons, but it’s surprisingly difficult to work around the raw 😛 ]

            Also thanks for not implying that I’m a WAACer who wants to interpret everything as powerfully as possible; I’m just interested in what the RAW is here 🙂
            I don’t really like comp for events (in the UK we often play ETC comp which is basically balls to the wall), but when there is comp I prefer it to be explicit like “Invisibility is too powerful, so instead…”

            There are no rules for what point a special rule or ability is conferred to a unit in those situations; it’s not specifically at the beginning of the phase or anything, so I think that means it’s just when they meet the criteria for the rule/ability (so here, when they are in the same unit).
            That’s why I think that, when you’re treating them as a single unit for the shooting attack, you get the benefits because during this interaction, you’re treated as a single unit.

            It’s this wooliness of the rules that makes it difficult to determine when you check Buffy etc, but I think the caveat that the “active player” gets to decide in which order simultaneous effects are resolved helps to swing the order of operations into Buffy’s favour.

            By the way (shameless plug), I do have a 40k blog if you’re interested: . Unfortunately I don’t post on too frequently at the moment, but I try and write up every tournament I go to, including the ETC (& ESC) this August, as a part of Team Wales.

            Good luck with 40k- may your opponent only ever Stomp you with 1s 🙂

  10. Ragnulf October 27, 2015 4:45 pm #

    If people would just apply the general principle of taking the rules interpretation that is the least game breaking, that would go a long way. ‘resolving shots as if they were a single unit’ doesn’t equal – ‘forms a single unit’. You can also interpret rules by what is not included. The Rule could have stated ‘resolving shots as if they were a single unit, including any applicable special rules, wargear and marker light bonuses’. Only marker lights were specifically mentioned, so including only marker lights makes sense.

    • PrimoFederalist October 29, 2015 6:04 pm #

      Exactly. It explicitly mentioned marker lights, and therefore implicitly excluded everything else.

      • Boris Johnson November 2, 2015 2:53 pm #

        On the contrary, since it explicitly states “Including Markerlights”, it’s implying that Markerlights are not the only thing that is shared.

        I actually don’t think the wording of this rule is ambiguous at all. It’s both fluffy and RAW to share any unit-specific bonuses among all units shooting at the designated target.

  11. Android325 October 27, 2015 4:47 pm #

    Throwing my hat into your ring. As a Tau player for 10 years, I wholeheartedly agree, Reece. Both RAW and RAI and on principle. I played Farsight bomb at one local tourney, and only got 2 players to agree to continue playing 40k by vowing to never play it again. Passing around USRs is stupid and easily broken.
    I’d add something to this article about Darkstriders ability to lower toughness. Ally him in and attach to a Striker squad… As brutal as it is stupid.

    • Anonymous October 29, 2015 11:28 am #

      You had to convince two players to continue playing 40k for beating them with something as tame as Farsight bomb? Oh no, a single, deep-striking unit with an f-ing huge footprint! What a bunch of pansies.

  12. Pablo October 27, 2015 4:51 pm #

    You know, when I did foam fighting there was a rule in the rulebook that said. “If you try to find a loophole, or try to word rules in a certain way to get a certain ruling, you are breaking the rule” I wish this applied to 40k, I think the intent with this rule is clear, GW wants you to make a single shooting attack, that if you do, you get the special ability to add markerlights to your shooting attack, as well as getting a BS boost.

    I think the proper the way to go about this during a shooting phase is

    – The Buffmander and his unit declare an enemy unit as a target for a shooting attack
    – The Tau player chooses which other units are going to lend their aid.
    – A single shooting attack is resolved from multiple units.
    – Wipe the enemy unit off the board

    When you use this attack you also have to look at the specific special rules, if the Buffmander gives his unit the ignores cover special rule, then that would only apply to models in his unit. Is that riptide a model in his unit? Yes? then they need to run to maintain coherency. No? then the riptide doesn’t get the ignores cover special rule.

    Maybe the simplest way to go about this, is to just make sure the units that are firing must be in coherency, and not have any ICs with MCs, and Vehicles. If they are out of coherency then they have to run to get close to each other instead of making the shooting attack to get the special rules to be counted as a single unit.

    In any case, I’m hoping reading #2 is the way people interpret it. We already have too many gamers complaining about broken rules, and cheese. Reading #1 just adds fuel to the fire.

  13. iNcontroL October 27, 2015 5:04 pm #

    the lynchpin argument for me is that it says “fires as if it was a single unit” — which means specifically the firing.. it has nothing to do with them actually forming a literal unit. Coherency etc.. is being left out here because it is just talking about them acting as a unit in regards to shooting. I think it is pretty clear here what they mean with that. I DO agree however that they probably had no idea (which is funny/bad) that people would do this with the buffmander giving that entire “unit” all the USRs that it does.

    That said I think the rule is ALSO very clear that it says “must shoot at the same target” I think the argument that they can split fire off of this would be breaking this specific rule and at that point the Tau player would NOT benefit from those USRs but I would go as far to say they simply cannot.. with split fire from a GC or system.

    I think it is really strong and silly and basically means whatever they shoot at is as dead as dead can be.. their firepower was already some of the most vicious without this kind of thing but I also think it is what it is. If people want to argue you can split fire with this and gain all the benefits that is where I roll my eyes and simply laugh.. but the entire army nuking 1 thing? Yeah that sounds like a hunter pack to me.

    • Tetrisphreak October 27, 2015 5:22 pm #

      Right on. The combined fire is a specific rule so takes precedence. If models combining fire use their (non compulsory) target locks to shoot additional units, they’ve then broken the combined fire rule that says they must shoot the same target.

      Interpreting the rule in the above manner while maintaining that the models also share conferred USRs keeps it powerful, on par with decurion neurons or battle company Razorbacks. It also keeps it from being absurdly rage quit OP.

      one thing to mention, regardless of how this particular rule shakes out – the new book allows 9 man crisis teams to form a single unit. Also getting 3 commanders in a hunter cadre isn’t hard – that’s 12 suits, 11 of them firing at different targets with boucoups of USRs no combined fire required. Whoops.

      • 1PlusArmour October 27, 2015 5:26 pm #

        Signature Systems are still 1 per detachment, so realistically only 1 buffmander.

        • 1PlusArmour October 27, 2015 5:29 pm #

          Sorry to double reply, hit submit before I finished my thought.

          This also brings up an interesting point – this entire setup revolves around a single 4W T5 model that has no way to get EW, and at best is doing LOS to Broadsides that will get instant death’d by S8 weaponry and have no way to receive buffs from psychic powers.

        • Tetrisphreak October 27, 2015 5:40 pm #

          The other 2 commanders are with the crisis blob shooting weapons along with the rest of them.

    • Narfwak October 27, 2015 5:42 pm #

      Yeah, I agree completely about the split firing aspect. “Must shoot at the same target” is the key permission for being able to utilize the rule; if you don’t do that, then you don’t get the bonus.

      I really, really don’t buy the order of operations argument that you’re declaring an attack at “the same target” and then diverging afterwards using Target Locks. You’re violating the initial permission of making the attack in the first place once you do that, and the whole thing becomes void.

      Regardless of how it’s ruled as far as USRs are concerned I think it should not permit split fire at all when you’re doing this. It explicitly says you’re not supposed to. I don’t see how it could be any more clear than that.

      • Reecius October 27, 2015 9:35 pm #

        The rules for shooting say the same thing: all models in the unit must fire at the same target. Split Fire and Target Lock and whatnot break that rule. I can’t see how you can read it any other way. The unit shoots at the target, but the individual models can all fire at different targets if their rules allow for it.

    • Reaver October 27, 2015 6:03 pm #

      That is exactly how I read it as well. I do not get how it can be perceived any other way.

      The buffmander only passes his abilities to his own immediate unit not the group of other units he is firing with. In this case only the shots from the commanders immediate unit would benefit from his buffs and the other supporting units fire as normal but with the benefit of +1bs if three or more units are combining their shots.

      The rule ‘fires as if it was a single unit’ makes it completely different to being ‘a single unit’ and by definition they do not become one unit.

      I do think if there was say 6 individual units then 3 could target one unit and the remaining 3 could target another and benefit from the +1 BS.

    • Julnlecs October 28, 2015 5:52 am #

      Geoff, Exactly!

  14. Jughead October 27, 2015 5:10 pm #

    You are basing your conlusion on ZERO empirical evidence. None of the reasons you stated are valid in the shooting phase. All the reasons you stated are in the movement phase.

    Eldar, Necrons, and Space Marines all get a pass. Many of the rulings you’ve done there have been half measured, because you decided that drastic codex changes should be conservative. For Tau, you are being heavy handed.

    You simply could have waited to actually see the codex and have games with them. You have the means to showcase them on your telecast. Yet Tau draw that weebo ire that must be dealt with quickly?

    You could have split the baby and thrown a middle tier army a bone by choosing Goatboy’s interpretation. I usually think your judgements are sensible but this feels like a knee jerks reaction.

    • messy0 October 27, 2015 5:23 pm #

      I agree with you but we shouldn’t give them ammunition to say that we are just upset because we assume they are bias against tau. At the core of the arguments here is that flg are interpreting the rules they way they wish without any strong arguments, evidence or playtesting which due to their popularity can and will effect a world wide community. And that’s just not cool brah.

    • Rawdogger October 27, 2015 7:00 pm #

      I’m a Weaboo and I resent this comment!

      • Hotsauceman1 October 27, 2015 8:50 pm #

        You couldnt even finish FLCL

    • PrimoFederalist October 29, 2015 6:21 pm #

      It feels like logic to me.

      As Hunlow said above:
      -If they act like one unit then why are they not subject to ALL the rules governing single units i.e. unit coherency?
      -If they are in essence still separate units what allows their USRs to be shared?

  15. 1PlusArmour October 27, 2015 5:21 pm #

    Great to see this much thought put in to it, as well as feedback from many of the big names in the 40k scene (both in the article, and the comments!).

    I think there are a lot of suggestions that can come to a very good middle ground on this without having to either rewrite the rule (ala Invisibility) or allow a purely “RAW” interpretation of complete brokenness!

    As always, I look forward to seeing what the final decision is.

    • messy0 October 27, 2015 5:29 pm #

      A simple comprimise ( although I don’t think it’s needed as it’s pretty clear USR’s do transfer) would be to simply say target lock/split fire attacks don’t benifits from the hunter continget rule. But all shots going towards the subject of the hunter contingent unit attacks gain all benifits of firering as one unit including all available abilities and USR’s

      • 1PlusArmour October 27, 2015 5:30 pm #

        That’s actually exactly how we’ve ruled it for our upcoming event 🙂

        • messy0 October 27, 2015 5:33 pm #

          And I would be totally happy with that ruling. Sounds like your playing with sensible, level headed individuals

          • Anonymous October 29, 2015 10:05 am

            The personal attacks at intelligence and level-headedness are incredibly immature. Other’s opinions are not immediately wrong if you don’t agree. Players like you are why people are turned off in the competitive circuit.

            I bet you argue the smallest things in each game. Fun for everyone!

  16. Tautastic October 27, 2015 5:27 pm #

    For the people using the unit coherency to support their interpretation of the coordinated firepower rule please read the WHOLE second paragraph of the UNIT CHOHERENCY rule on page 19 of the BRB. “During the course of the game…a unit can…lose unit coherency… If this happen, in their next movement phase…If the unit cannot move on its next turn…then the models must move…including running…” I paraphrased the paragraph a lot but the rule is pretty clear and coordinated fire does NOT break/conflict this rule. Coordinated firepower creates the MEGA-unit during step 2 of the shooting sequence (BRB pg 30). At that moment in time the MEGA-unit is in fact out of unit coherency. So how de we resolve that? “If this happens, in their NEXT Movement phase..” (emphasis mine) but the MEGA-unit is only valid until the end of the shooting phase and after the shooting phase they are back to their own original unit and are by then in unit coherency.

    As for ICs and MCs being in the same unit, they were given permission to do so “ if they were a single unit…” with the only restriction that “…these units must shoot the same target…” and a duration “…resolving their shots…” This rule is no different than a Y’Vahra moving as a Swooping MC by its Vector Thrust Array rule.

    Lastly, Reading #1 is actually the simplest explanation because unlike Reading #2 you actually do not need to make up a whole “order of operation” on how to resolve markerlights…

  17. abusepuppy October 27, 2015 5:34 pm #

    You’re making a HUGE leap of logic with your “problems” with interpretation #1. It’s perfectly logical for them to be TREATED as a single unit for the purposes of making the shooting attack without ACTUALLY becoming a single unit. In fact, the only people arguing that they actually do become a single unit are you and the other people trying to show how absurd it supposedly is.

    But here’s a counterpoint: if they are only intended to function as a single unit for the purposes of wound allocation and Markerlights, why have the “including…” text in there at all? If no other abilities function across the units at all, “including” makes no sense because it is the ONLY instance of such an ability, not merely an example of one of several.

  18. Hotsauceman1 October 27, 2015 5:38 pm #

    Why dont we just Vote on the damn thing?

    • jmanj123 October 27, 2015 6:05 pm #

      Because like all of the Frontline nerfs it is a forgone conclusion that the ‘community’ would nerf it. So, Frontline will FAQ the nerf until after LVO and then let the vote officially nerf it and claim democracy. Same story different year/codex/rule.

      • abusepuppy October 27, 2015 9:06 pm #

        You mean like how they nerfed Scat Bikes, KDK summoning, and all of those other things?

        • Jural October 28, 2015 11:57 am #

          They totally nerfed my Tyranids when they voted to keep the MC at T6. Also, don’t forget the nerf to Heldrakes.

          I blame you Reecius! For everything! Raaarh!

      • Reecius October 27, 2015 9:31 pm #

        What are you talking about, Jeremy? Must nerfs don’t go through, lol. It’s only been for the really nasty stuff, like Invis and the 2+ reroll saves.

      • Prindlehaven October 28, 2015 5:12 am #

        I dont think you have really been paying attention.

      • White925 October 28, 2015 8:34 am #

        Yeah what exactly have we nerfed without a vote? Im confused.

  19. Target Lock October 27, 2015 6:29 pm #
    “Billy listen, my family and I are coming over for extended holiday to say hi to you and your buff brother and are wondering if you have any open space available. If you can’t find any we will make space”

  20. Jp October 27, 2015 6:31 pm #

    I’ve decided to only read 1/3 the article, find something I dislike and disagree with, and then complain about how Reece runs a 40k dictatorship!!! Blah!!!

    Unfortunately with the info we have now, which is 50% at best since we are literally comparing new rules to old codex, I say the entire army benefits from the stuff since their shooting as one units. I’m actually not even going to put any more time into this until the codex is in hand.

    However, as a chaos deamon player, it really doesn’t matter. Tau still got nothing to kill my screamer star or knight Titan with a rerollable 2++ lol. Their weaknesses remain the same….

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 9:36 pm #

      Ah, I may or may not have access to the actual rules =P

      And yes, your Screamerstar still rolls them just like it did =/

  21. Scumlord October 27, 2015 7:03 pm #

    Thanks as always for being proactive and considering the game-ruining arguments that can crop up. There’s a reason we’re an ITC club, and it’s this constant attention to the game.

  22. ligolski October 27, 2015 7:09 pm #

    There are a lot of interesting arguments here. I’m dismayed at a person or twojumping at Reece and Frontline for this article and their conclusion. This is clearly an article meant to create discussion and theorizing. Shame on you for jumping on them for their contribution to the community. The proper etiquete is to discuss and argue your point with logic like most people have done here, not to insinuate they are just trying to dick Tau over. It is insulting to them and their integrity. /rant

    My point of view does however difder from that of Reece. I think the key is that the units must shoot at the same target. The “must” is a key word and thus a condition that must be met. The unit can not direct shots at another target as well because upon doing this the condition is broke. I think several before me have stated this and I agree. I think the ability to use USRs is within the definition of the rule since the wording does not specifiy only marker lights but includes them with the idea that there are other things shared. Thus I think the truly most simple answer is that during the shooting phase a single target unit gets blasted in the face by a huge combination of firepower with all the rights and rules allowed to them by buffmander or whomever as long as range and other limitations are met.

    • abusepuppy October 27, 2015 9:04 pm #

      >This is clearly an article meant to create discussion and theorizing

      While there are certainly people who are jumping to conclusions, let’s be completely honest here: Reece isn’t even trying to be impartial about how he presents the two cases.

      I agree on the “must” part, though. It seems like a pretty reasonable compromise.

      • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:43 am #

        Yes, I have a clear position on this, no doubt.

        However, with the “must” clause, even if you read it that every contributing unit must fire at the target unit, nothing stops Target Locks and GMC shooting rules form working. So, you could still get roughly the same effect. It’s bananas.

        • abusepuppy October 28, 2015 9:20 pm #

          See, and I disagree there- because the Coordinated Firepower rules are more specific, they override the GC and Split Fire rules (and arguably Target Locks as well, although that is less clear.) Codex trumps BRB.

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 9:38 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your opinions in a civilized manner, much appreciated. Even though we disagree, I appreciate your methods for sharing them.

    • Lardus October 28, 2015 4:02 am #

      >This is clearly an article meant to create discussion and theorizing
      This is the internet. There can be o discussion. Only trolling, grieffing and fighting 😛

      I think a list should be made of where RAW vs RAI discussions were and then see which players choose which. I can already see some people going some rules to RAW and other to RAI depending on which helps them. Also have a wording issue on the Ghostkeels regarding that snapshot thingamagig.

      I wish GW would just start up FAQ and Eratas again (*though I see at this moment Black Library is under maintenance)

      • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:38 am #

        The problem is that RAW isn’t clear in this case =/

        But, otherwise I agree with you and yes, GW should respect their own game by providing FAQs but they do not.

  23. Anony-Mouse October 27, 2015 7:53 pm #

    I agree with Reece’s interpretation, and to be honest I can’t see how it can be read any other way. It says “resolving their shots as if they were a single unit” – markerlights, resolving weapons fire (pulse rifles from all units would have to be resolved together, for example), all shooting done at the same time. Nowhere does it say that they “become a single unit” or “are treated as a single unit for the duration of the shooting phase” or anything similar.

    If the units were treated as a single unit they would be able to share special rules and wargear buffs, BUT if they were not in coherency they’d be unable to shoot at all – they would have to spend their shooting phase running in order to restore unit coherency instead!

    • Tautastic October 27, 2015 8:35 pm #

      I suggest rereading the WHOLE second paragraph of the UNIT COHERENCY on page 19 of the BRB. I explained it a few post above. The rule is really clear on the steps you take when unit coherency is broken. The first thing that triggers when unit coherency is broken is “If this happens, in their next Movement phase…” 2nd sentence of the 2nd paragraph on page 19 of the BRB. The MEGA-unit is formed in the 2nd step of the shooting sequence. Right then and there the unit is out of coherency. How do we resolve this? “If this happens, in their next Movement phase….” The MEGA-unit is only valid until the shots have been resolved. After that they go back to their original units and pass unit coherency before their next movement phase.

      Besides, it gets really muddy if they are NOT considered a single unit while resolving their shots. What will happen if a tactical squad with a special weapon marine at the back of the squad is shot at by 2 MP suits that uses the coordinated firepower but one suit is I front of the tactical squad but the other is behind? How would you resolve wound allocation since you are suppose to roll all of their dies at the same time being the same weapon?

      • Fagerlund October 28, 2015 2:11 am #

        Same distance to target? The receiving player chose who to allocate to first.

        • Tautastic October 28, 2015 4:29 am #

          For Reading #1 yes but for Reading #2 I do not know. The 2 MP suits are considered 2 separate units but will roll their dies the same time being the same weapon and all from Reading #2. Allocate wounds to the closest enemy model from the firing unit… BRB pg 35. It is pretty obvious that one suit is closer to the front marine and the other to the special weapon marine but since both suits are not considered a unit in Reading #2 and roll their dies at the same time we do not know how to resolve this. Can’t say that for the purpose of allocating wounds both suits will be treated as a unit but not during to hit and to wound rolls (when USR would matter the most). No cherry picking, it is either both suits are considered a unit for all rules and purposes when they activate coordinated firepower by selecting the same target up to resolving wounds or not at all.

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 9:39 pm #

      Yeah, I read it the same way.

  24. Bryankia October 27, 2015 8:18 pm #

    I play tau and have sense the first codex.
    I think Reece is wrong.
    I think SimonW nailed it.
    I know that should I ever meet Reece I am going to buy him a beer pat him on the back and thank him for all he does for the community.
    I know I will be placing a very large order for tau from frontline before the week is over.


    PS. Reece why do you hate tau? First my Titan and now this. You are such a jerk face. 😉

    • Reecius October 27, 2015 9:37 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your opinion and I would gladly take that beer!

  25. Frank October 27, 2015 8:40 pm #

    ‘Whenever a unit from a Hunter Contingent selects a target in the shooting phase, any number of other units from the same Detachment who can still shoot can add their firepower to the attack. These units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit–this includes the use of Marker Light abilities. When 3 or more units combine their firepower, the firing models add 1 to their Ballistic Skill.’ The wording seems pretty clear to me. ‘these units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit’, very plain there. If a unit of firewarriors, a unit of pathfinders and a buffmander crisis blob all shoot at the same target they are considered to be ONE unit for that round of shooting only. Any and all rules stated as UNIT rules would by default extend to the rest of the unit. So if Darkstrider is attached to the pathfinders the missile pods on the crisis suits can instakill marines because the structural analyzer states ENTIRE UNIT. Any and all wargear that affects the buffmander’s unit also applies to the firewarriors and so on. ‘This includes the use of marker light abilities”, Now markerlights are stated to not be useable by the UNIT that fired them so those markers can’t be used for any of the unit’s attacks, however any marker expended from a different unit to boost any of the attacks will boost them all(if the pathfinders BS goes up from a marker the rest of the unit(firewarriors and crisis suits) BS also goes up. Split fire is not an issue here either, as any model with it CAN shoot separate from the rest of the unit, which means if one of those crisis suits has it, it can fire unimpeded by any interpretation of wording here, while the firewarriors shoot in unison with the rest of the suits and pathfinders. If some ‘champion player’ thinks otherwise they would be wrong, following rules as written.

    • Colinsherlow October 27, 2015 10:45 pm #

      I hate that I can see both sides and that their are lots of valid points from many sides.

      The rules says they shoot as if they were a single unit.
      The rule Does not say that they are a single, and everybody benefits from everybody else’s USRs. This probably doesn’t help the argument in anyway, but will see. I do agree with the everybody must shoot the intended target part of the rule.

      Oh GW. Wish they give their rules a little more thought. I think they spend too much time a bugmans pub drinking and designing rules.

      Glad you get these discussions going Reese. People sure get their hate on easily and love to accuse.

  26. Mike October 28, 2015 12:18 am #

    I read it as the full Monty. A buffmander would buff the entire mass multiunit shooting AND allow target lock effects to go off with buffs as well, by the words on the page.

    I also read it as being crazy ridiculous and something that a codex writer past his deadline scribbled on a napkin at lunch before having to pitch it. GW doesn’t play the same game we do, so it just doesn’t occur to them that an optimized buffing commander of other such units working with the bonus could open up a new format: Tau speed-tabling competitions.

    So if what I believe is RAW is also how it will be played at events, I’ll be saving time and money and just not going. Just deploying then picking your army back up, or feeling like you’re just going to compete for “best non-tau” is a serious drag. Rather go in for an extra day at work and add a little to my check.

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:42 am #

      Fair points, Mike, lol!

  27. OdBoX October 28, 2015 12:37 am #

    Interesting to see that no one has brought up how the coordinated fire rule would work from a fluff standpoint.

    From my perspective all the tau units participating in the coordinated strike are linking their sensors and targeting arrays. As more units ‘link’ a more accurate image of the target is formed. When three or more units link the target is triangulated giving the more precise targeting information represented by the +1 BS. Also as the units are linked they can respond to markerlight support in a coordinated fashion as the information is fed into the single linked targeting array comprised of the multiple units, hence the statement on markerlights.

    Now we look at the Commander. Reading the fluff for the Command and Control Node, as well as the Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite, the first is a data link and the second is another targeting array. Both of these would make sense in the ‘linking’ scenario, as the information from both of these systems can be transmitted. The Puretide Engram Chip admittedly does not fit into this so well, as it is a chip embedded into the commanders brain, and not directly connected to any linked targeting system.

    An issue arises when target locks and split fire are considered however. As the benefits of linking would reasonably only affect the individuals firing at the designated target.

    To cut down to it, my interpretation (remember that it is an interpretation) of the fluff would support either Reece’s or Goatboy’s personal interpretations.

    • OdBoX October 28, 2015 12:41 am #

      For the record, my interpretation of the rule itself is the least conservative. I fully recognize how utterly ridiculous it is, and support some form of compromise.

  28. Mipps October 28, 2015 12:40 am #

    So let me pre-face what I am about to say with a couple of points:
    1) I have a tau army, but have not played with them since just after the last codex came out
    2) I do not play in tournaments, and am not a “regular” 40K gamer, I play just enough to keep current on rules and the codex’s I play
    3) I have never really gotten into a RAI vs RAW discussion before and tend to work on the rather simple basis that if it is good enough for my local GW/club then great
    4) I have read the article and every comment up to this point (my morning commute is very boring)

    So….onto the meat and veg of my rather simple interpretation using darkstrider as a basis:

    Darkstrider confers -1T to the enemy unit that his unit is firing at, so if he joins firewarriors their target becomes -1T as long as he shoots. Now coordinated firepower states that all units join together and resolve their shooting as if they were a single unit. This means that Darkstrider is now part of the single unit that is shooting at an enemy target, which by the definition of his rules means every model in this “super unit” is now his unit and thus their target would suffer from -1T against EVERY shot fired in the combined shooting.

    I would also agree that any shooting which is not directed at the initial target would not benefit from ALL the buffs, but would only benefit from the buffs directly associated with the host unit eg. Buffmander and friends decide to split fire away from the chosen target of the coordinated firepower attack they would not benefit from the +1BS but would still get the standard buffmander bonuses because they have them by virtue of being in his unit, same goes for MC/GMC any shots that are not done against the nominated coordinated firepower target would not get the buffs associated with it.

    This may be overly simplistic but is literally how the rules seem to be worded, and alongside the “markerlight” example where it specifically stated that markerlights are included in being shared (I dont have the codex to hand) because markerlights state that each token can only be used for a single unit for a boost

    Cheers all and please forgive my rambling post

    Also why you no love the Tau’nar supremacy armour? 🙁

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:41 am #

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mipps! And as for the poor Supremecy suit, we don’t allow any Titan class vehicles in the ITC at present such as the Heirophant, Revenant, Warhound, Daemon Lords, Supremecy suit, etc.

  29. BillyBones October 28, 2015 1:36 am #

    The diagram attached to the first part is incorrect. There always has to be at least one model or weapon (in case of GC) which tagets the common target, otherwise the unit isn’t participating in the attack.

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:39 am #

      The rule does not actually say that, but, even if that is the case, it is still devastatingly broken, lol.

  30. Moridan October 28, 2015 3:36 am #

    Are people arguing this for proposed tournament play or for matches with your friends?

    Tournaments: the decision will be up to the TO, and in Reecius’s case, he is kind enough to discuss with the community. But if you dont like the decision, dont participate.

    Friends: Half of my small group of local gamers play Tau. If any of them expected a 15pt of wargear to affect every model in a 2K list (MCs, vehicles, ect), then I would pack up my Deamons and tell them good night. I mean seriously, do you people WANT friends??

    Dont let the haters get you down Reecius.

  31. Cowboy October 28, 2015 4:32 am #

    Reece is right. Thank you sir for standing up for reasonable 40k.

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:37 am #

      Someone has to, lol. Thanks for the support.

  32. Cowboy October 28, 2015 4:37 am #

    The fact that the 40k community would not quickly and resoundingly respond with, ” There is no way that applies to the whole army that is ridiculous,” speaks volumes to the depravity of the community. Why would be dignify this obvious rules exploitation with a long discussion when it is clearly game breaking. Anyone who cares about the heath and well being of the entire game (all the armies, not just the top ones) can see that Reece’s approach is best for the game as a whole.

    • Colinsherlow October 28, 2015 5:16 am #

      Remember when everyone was crying to change Eldar and change scatterbikes, Not allow any D weapons and to charge way more points for a wraithknight.
      But now having one giant unit consisting of 20 units that can somehow target and shoot 50 other units and ALL be able to target everything and ignore cover, shoots more accurately, can prob reroll something, shares USRs and shares marker lights is totally fine. That’s totally fine. I also feel that the buffmander is waaay over costed points wise so he/she should probably be zero points.

      I do like all the discussion though. That part I think is good for the community. Just don’t think people need to feel the need to call other people idiots because they have a different point of view.

      Not totally sure what mine is on the subject yet as I have yet to really consider and ponder the wording.

      The everybody must target said unit seems like everyone must target the target unit and not be able to shoot at 50 other units and also gain all the benifits. But I can see the Tau adding their abilities to one another for that super shot. Buuuut I also read the rules for the buffmander/USRs is just the specific unit that the bussmander/USRs joins. Not the entire formation/detachment gaining all the abilities of everybody. The rule says that they may fire as one unit at a single enemy targert. Not that they all actually become one unit.
      But like I said I need to look closer the ruling. But I am sleepy and don’t care enough at the moment. I need to get back to sleep now.

      At the end of the day it does come down to the TO to make the decision of what they would prefer to use at their tournament. Frontline Gaming is nice enough to allowe the community to have a say for most rulings, and allow discussions before making a final ruling as well.

      • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:28 am #

        Hey Colin, I see how folks read the ?must target the same unit” bit to mean you have to shoot it, 100%. But, if you read the rules for normal shooting they use the same wording: every model in the unit must shoot at the target unit. Target Lock and GMC shooting overrides this.

        • Colinsherlow October 28, 2015 10:11 am #

          I just read that. So long for that

  33. Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 4:57 am #

    Here’s my question for reecius, semantics and posturing aside.

    You have some clear feelings on this rule interaction, but regardless of that what is it you fear from the rule being applied as I and others see it as, which is to say they count as one unit only for shooting and that rules affecting any unit affect them all in that regards?

    • White925 October 28, 2015 8:59 am #

      So here is how we see it playing out once they are counted as all being the same unit. You take 1 buffy add him to a unit of 2-3 crisis suits with missiles and target locks. You then take a unit of 2-3 Stormsurges. The Buffmander uses his buffs while one Crsis suit shoots at the target unit. The other two use target lock and shoot at two different vehicles with re-rolls to hit BS5 and tank hunter. The first Crisis suit meets the requirement of the unit shooting at the target unit while the others are using there rules for target lock.

      Now we move on to the bigger issue the unit of 2-3 Stormsurges. They shoot there burst cannons at the target unit which connects them to the hunter pack now gaining all the special rules and BS5 while also meeting the requirement of targeting the target unit. Now the other however many weapons shoot at however many enemy units with twin linked and tank hunter BS5 and ignore cover. Oh yeah TWICE!

      In the interpretation where they all become one unit they will wipe any army off the table in 3 turns, except for a super deathstar which was already there problem. Also a point that I want to make is if they meant for USRs to be passed to everybody why include the exception that marker lights can be used by everyone firing?

      • White925 October 28, 2015 9:20 am #

        Oops BS4 on the Stormsurges.

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:36 am #

      Fair question. When Buffmander could join a single Riptide, it created an experience for folks that was incredibly unenjoyable, similar to Invisibility or a 2+ reroll save. When you have a situation where you essentially point at a unit and it dies with extremely small odds to miss or fail to do damage, and the other player has no defense against it, it creates an unenjoyable play experience that hurts the organized 40k scene. When the game develoves into super units, it loses its tactical qualities and becomes apocalypse. We are trying to prevent that which is why we almost always go to the more conservative reading of a rule. Yes, things like free transports is really good, yes Daemon summoning is really good, stupid Scat Packs are crazy good, all fair points. But this is something entirely different, and it will kill the enjoyment for the other player as you simply point at their best units every turn and they pick them up. It ironically encourages Deathstars as those are the only units capable of making it across the table in the face of that kind of firepower. This would be very, very bad for organized play to go with reading 1 of the rule.

      • Jughead October 29, 2015 6:02 am #


        I do appreciate what you do but this is very heavy handed interpretation. Every army has some form of Deathstar and this is Taus version.

        I would concede on the split firing aspect. That is broken, but don’t rule it all out.

        Will ITC do something about the Triparte Lance. I have not heard any outcry for that broken experience when combined with Loth.

  34. Morollan October 28, 2015 5:02 am #

    Personally I don’t see any room for doubt over whether USR’s that apply to one of the units in the Hunter Contingent apply to all other units taking part in the Coordinated Firepower action. The rule specifically tells us that ‘blob’ “resolves their shots as if they were a single unit”. And, whilst on the subject, can we clarify what that means? At no point is it stated, suggested, hinted or implied that the constituent units actually, literally, becomes a single unit. They absolutely do not. We are however instructed to resolve their shooting attacks “AS IF” they were a single unit. Very important distinction and one that immediately discounts many of the objections that Reece raises.

    My only bone of contention on the rule is whether the ‘blob’ is allowed to shoot at any other targets via Target Lock etc. I can certainly see the argument that they are but I can also see the argument that the wording of the Coordinated Firepower rule prevents it. I’d personally prefer the latter option.

    This is an extremely powerful rule. So is the Cohort Mechanicus. So is the Decurion. So is the Space Marine Battle Company. Etc, etc. Is this more powerful than any of those? Possibly. Does that mean we must be reading it wrong? Absolutely not! Games Workshop are more than capable of bringing out a ridiculously powerful formation in order to sell more models.

    • Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 5:11 am #

      yeah a “you can’t target lock and get this to other units” seems reasonable, but any other modification is just senseless nerfing.

      • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:28 am #

        There is literally nothing in the rule that indicates that you cannot use Target Locks or that a GMC cannot use its rules for shooting multiple targets.

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:31 am #

      It is incredibly powerful without Buffmander’s abilities, lol. Super powerful. With, it is ridiculous. And nothing in the wording of the rule stats that Target Locks or a GMCs shooting wouldn’t work. Literally nothing. That is adding verbiage to the rule that is not there. Now, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in this case it is not a true reading of the rule. That would have to be a modification to the existing rule.

      • Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 4:28 pm #

        here are a few problems with your concerns.

        1) it requires 3 units or more to work
        2) range is a limiting factor to some e
        3) if you’re looking to limit the “insanity” make it limited to only the originally targeted unit.
        4) every “extreme” example people are giving is literally an entire 1850 point army shooting at one unit. Sorry if I think one unit taking that focus should die.

        Lastly you’re saying there is no verbage that prevents target locks etc, you’re already at the point where you’re changing the rule with how the itc is ruling it currently (only markerlight benefit) despite it clearly not excluding unit wide rules.

        Why not just take the step and reduce the most “crazy” thing/abuse which would be target locks to confer all the buffs against multiple units.

        I don’t understand your unreasonable fear of 3 or more units shooting at one unit as one. Any non-deathstar unit would of had problems with 2 or more units shooting. This will most likely end up in wasted shots or at the least, the rest of the opponents army unscathed.

        For non-deathstar armies, if you simply state “only the originally targeted unit benefits from this rule and targeting other units through wargear/abilities causes them to act as their own unit.” would be inline with a tournament productive environment.

        arguing for only markerlights, then decrying a modification to prevent split-fire styles from applying and saying “that’s a modification to an existing rule, is hypocritical.

      • Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 4:34 pm #

        “The new Tau are still top-tier and super-good even without the over-the-top intepretation of Reading #1.”

        I’m not sure you’ve played new tau lol.

        Tau got some new units, but the new codex only added these formations, which the main benefit to the new tau you’re saying “naw they don’t really need their new codex… just leave em with their new units from WD, and the old codex. They don’t really need the main benefits to their new formations.

    • Putzfrau October 28, 2015 1:59 pm #

      It doesn’t seem like the USR would ever confer because the units are never *actually* one unit.

      Resolving the shots as if they were one unit and conferring rules as if they were one unit would seem like different concepts. Especially given the precedence within the rule itself of specifically calling something out that DOES apply (marker lights). Why would they call out markerlights and make no mention of any other USR? It would seem like if you’re establishing the precedence of calling out what still works (like markerlights) you would then make the call out for everything else (this includes the use of marker lights AND USR)

      If they were treated as one unit, why the special call out for marker lights?

  35. Prindlehaven October 28, 2015 5:13 am #

    I agreed with you on this one Reece. However, after reading these comments the only thing that is totally clear to me is that there needs to be a vote.

    • Colinsherlow October 28, 2015 5:20 am #


  36. Adam Abramowicz October 28, 2015 5:59 am #

    Speaking as a Tau player (who hasn’t played Tau since March), I obviously recognize how powerful this new rule is and can be. Do I think it’s OP when looked at through the lens that is the NEW 40K? No. It’s an answer for Tau to compete with the big dogs of the NEW 40K. Tau were always good through 6th and 7th but not quite on the same level as some of the better SuperFriends lists, especially the new Dark Puppy Alliance, and they really struggled in my own opinion and experience against Necrurion, SeerStar and Daemonkin.

    With that said, as a Tau player I would love to put my thoughts on the table with a few caveats.

    1) If the targeting unit has Target Locks, which it should, I don’t believe the Coordinated Firepower can be conferred against more than one enemy unit. One of the two+ targeted units can only be declared a priority for Coordinated Firepower. I think that is fair restraint.

    2) This will work in a very similar manner to Supporting Fire. You must elect which units are going to fire first before any shooting attacks are made. So let’s say my ShadowStar unit (I’ll post a list in a bit) with Shadowsun, Buff’mander and Bodyguards with Target Locks decide to shoot at Enemy Unit A. Tau player then declares which units will be Coordinating Fire and elects a Ghostkeel and two units of Breachers. The Tau player first rolls for the Shadowstar, eliminating 7 of 10 enemy models from Enemy Unit A. The Ghostkeel then fires into the unit removing the final three remaining models and Enemy Unit A is off the board. Now, the two units of Breachers that decided to Coordinate Fire are not able to shoot because Enemy Unit A was their elected target, and have essentially become nullified for the turn.

    With Tau, it’s all about target priority and positioning. (Obviously, right?) With the good, comes the potential for bad. I’m wholly against gunline Tau from a an grim dark ethical point of view because it takes no effort to play, that said, with this ‘dex revamp, I see a more mobile theme to the Tau army and one I embrace.

    I’m sure very little play testing with this new Hunter Contingent has happened as it was just released and I firmly believe this needs more time to see, truly, how powerful it is – again – through the lens of the NEW 40K.

    Great article, Reece. While I don’t always agree, though many times I do, this at least brings the topic to the forefront for us to address, play test and make educated decisions. I hope my contribution to the conversation helps.


    Commander Shadowsun: 2× MV52 Shield Drone 175

    Commander: target lock; vectored retro-thrusters; drone controller; stimulant injector; Neuroweb System Jammer; Onager Gauntlet; Command and Control Node; Puretide Engram Neurochip; XV8-02 Crisis ‘Iridium’ Battlesuit; marker drone; marker drone 204

    5 Breacher Team: EMP grenades 55
    • Devilfish 80

    5 Breacher Team: EMP grenades 55
    • Devilfish 80

    8 Fire Warriors 72
    • DS8 Turret 10

    1 Ghostkeel: Cyclic Ion Raker; Twin-linked Fusion Blaster; MV5 Stealth Drone 140

    1 Ghostkeel: Cyclic Ion Raker; Twin-linked Fusion Blaster; MV5 Stealth Drone 140

    5 Crisis Bodyguards: Crisis Bodyguard (plasma rifle; target lock; plasma rifle; marker drone); Crisis Bodyguard (plasma rifle; target lock; plasma rifle; marker drone; Crisis Bodyguard (cyclic ion blaster; plasma rifle; target lock); Crisis Bodyguard (fusion blaster; fusion blaster); Crisis Bodyguard (fusion blaster; fusion blaster) 373

    4 Drones: marker x2; gun x2 56
    4 Drones: marker x2; gun x2 56

    1 Stormsurge: Pulse Driver CANNON 375

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:25 am #

      Thanks for sharing your measured and reasoned opinion, Adam. I respect folks that may disagree, but do so civilly and with an intelligent counter. We will play test it and put up some videos.

    • Narfwak October 28, 2015 2:02 pm #

      As an aside, is there any reason why you only use one Cyclic Ion Blaster? They’re not one-per-army anymore in the new codex. Just curious.

      • Adam Abramowicz October 28, 2015 2:43 pm #

        Old habits die hard I suppose. I built another list at 2K that has a unit of three Crisis with plasma and CIB.

  37. Cowboy October 28, 2015 6:17 am #

    Wasn’t Buffmander good enough in the last 2 editions to make him one of the most powerful force multipliers in the game? How is it a good idea to apply all those rules to an entire army? For those that support this approach, how can you justify the vast firepower advantages you are getting, when compared to the miniscule points cost of such a thing? If the rule were meant to work as you suggest, surely these upgrades would cost more. As it stands, you are paying more points to give a SM Sgt. a Power FIst than you are to allow your whole army to gain one of these super powerful buffs. Clearly this was not intended to apply to the whole army. Look at the Guard Relic that grants Preferred Enemy to all units within 6 inches. It can only be taken by a fragile command squad and costs 60 points. The points cost of the upgrades alone should tell you that the USR sharing approach is clearly not intended and ridiculous.

    For those that support that interpretation, if you were the Game Designer how could you justify this points costs when compared to the rest of the game, (which, let’s not forget, includes codexes not releases in 2015)

    • Morollan October 28, 2015 6:27 am #

      You seem to be under the impression that anyone is trying to ‘justify’ the rules. I’m certainly not. I’m just stating what they say. It’s down to the designers to justify those decisions but let’s not forget that these are (presumably) the same designers that worked on the Dark Eldar, Blood Angel and Ork codexes and is somehow under the impression that an army from one of those codexes can compete against an army from a later codex.

    • Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 6:28 am #

      when you compare it to armies that get 1k points of gear free (skittari/mechanicum/etc), free transports out the butt (space marines), unkillable (necrons), lots of D weapons (eldar), I think this is fine.

      it takes 3-4 units firing at one unit to make work.

      • Cowboy October 28, 2015 7:11 am #

        I agree… if we lived in a world that ONLY consisted of armies created in this new style of hyperpower, but we do not, ansd we must not act as if we do. There is a whole group of armies that rules like these blatantly overshadow.

        Good and proper game design (which is a requirement in order to have a game worth competing in) dictates that each faction be roughly as powerful as every other faction.

        GW will never create such a state because it does not serve their interests so it falls to the community to impose limitations of the game (when attempting to create a game worthy of being played in a competitive way). Or at the very least, not to stretch the rules given far beyond their intent.

        Logic and consistency should tell us that the USR’s being spread around is way more powerful and way cheaper than other similar buffs. It makes much more sense to apply the Buffmander to the unit he is in only. His points cost has not changes, why should his effect on the battlefield? The points cost and the in-game implications make a lot more sense that way.

        Do not just blindly follow GW. And do not use syntax to justify things which we all recognize is completely unreasonable when compared to the points required to field such combinations.

        Consider your opponent’s perspective. How are they supposed to take this game seriously and feel like they are being treated fairly if they pay 10-25 points for special weapons while you pay the same points for a circumstantially applied ARMY WIDE shooting buff. Buffs that Tau players have been gladly paying in order to simply buff 1 unit in the past, much less their whole army.

        If you cannot see the inconsistency in this situation I feel like arguing with you is pointless. You must look beyond what is good for you as a player, and what is potentially good at the highest/most cut throat levels of “competitive play (which is a joke given how inconsistent the games rules set is. For proof of this see the article and how hard the rules are to interpret constantly)” Consider the impact this has on the entire group of armies present in the game. Do you not see how this buff not only puts out a lot of hurt, but also trivializes the notion of cover in the game even more than it already has been? It reduces the tactical depth of the game and once again puts older armies even farther behind then they were.

        The conservative approach makes way more sense points wise and game wise. You know that, but want to ignore that fact because you can twist loose rules to justify ridiculous things that break the logical framework of the points based game system.

        • Morollan October 28, 2015 7:24 am #

          I’m assuming that comment was in response to mine. Your argument appears to be that because you feel this rule is too powerful then it needs changing. Fair enough. What else needs changing? Free transports for Marines? RP for Necrons? Virtually everything in the Dark Eldar codex? At what point do you stop? Who decides what gets changed? When is it no longer 40K?

          You also seem to be under the impression that I’m a Tau player desperately trying to preserve my special snowflake rule. I’m not. I had a small Tau army a couple of years ago that I shelved because I found them boring to play. Nothing in the new codex has thus far changed that opinion. I have no secret agenda here. I’m simply saying what the rules say and why I believe that Reece’s article is misleading, by stating false arguments against option 1 and inflating the merits of option 2.

          • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:22 am

            This is not even remotely close to free transports or Daemon summoning (which are very powerful, I agree). This is an order of magnitude beyond that. Trust me, we will post a video showing what we mean.

        • Mipps October 28, 2015 7:50 am #

          In a game where one army gets up to 50% more points in the way of free points, another gets arguably the best heavy weapon for their troops choice for 10pts (WFT?!?!) that same one ignores penetrating hits on a 2+ for their transport option, and a third that allows models to get back up on a 3+ (or something similar) this isnt that bad.

          Considering the Tau codex has had absolutely no internal balancing through reduced costs for weapons or troops, no change in rules for those models (look at the poor Kroot or Vespid) and otherwise very bland formations (look at the recon one) I dont think this is too stupid.

          I absolutely agree that if models decide to split their fire or use target locks they should no longer get buffs, but I think that if every unit is shooting the same target they should still share the buffs (realistically this isnt going to stop those dumb invisible deathstars with uber saves and characters tanking damage until they reach combat and end the game, but it might go someway to helping)

          • Adam Abramowicz October 31, 2015 3:32 am

            Very well said. This can be a counter to DeathStars but will be somewhat uneffective against MSU / Gladius style armies. There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion. There should be tough counters to certain armies and lists.

        • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:22 am #

          Well said.

  38. asmodius October 28, 2015 6:45 am #

    I don’t really see why we all have to get all worked up about this. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter what the correct interpretation is. All that matters is that we come to a consensus as to how to play the rule. This is one that should be added to the ITC FAQ one way or the other. I also hope NOVA does their own ruling. Once that is done it does not matter what people think the correct way to do it is. We will also be using the same interpretation and going with it.

    • Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 7:49 am #

      it’s exactly that “we’re getting all worked up over” the rules pretty easily indicate it works as if they were one unit for shooting, which also means any rules that affect a units shooting affect them.

      What we’re getting worked up over, is the ITC saying “essentially your main new rule for decurion style benefit, we’re nerfing”

      but… we didn’t want to nerf free razor backs, or improved reanimation protocols.

      What’d be great is if they just emailed gw for clarification then posted it as the answer and rule.

      • Morollan October 28, 2015 7:56 am #

        That would be great. Except GW will answer at roughly the same time that Satan skates to work.

        • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:18 am #

          Lol, and I cringe to imagine what their answer would be!

          • PrimoFederalist October 29, 2015 6:32 pm

            “You and your opponent roll a D6…”

      • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:21 am #

        Of course you can see it that way, and I understand why, but that is not the case. People simply do not realize the implications, here. This is seriously bonkers. The rule as I read it in reading #2 is still MEGA powerful.

        • Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 4:38 pm #

          I’m not sure letting units share markerlights against a single target is megapowerful… at least not compared to hundreds of free points in transports, a thousand or more in free wargear, re-rolls on reanimation protocols, psychic powers (that make all units affect re-roll succesful saves), drop pod assaults that can assault the turn they come in… the list goes on…

          Let the rules be played for awhile before you nerf it with your faq. you have no clue how powerful it’ll really be for your tournaments, until it’s actually played.

          • punchymango October 28, 2015 5:05 pm

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like the implied use/abuse of this works something like this:

            Step 1: During list construction, put target locks on everything that can take one, and add a buffmander.
            Step 2: During the shooting phase, declare a fireteam attack with the Buffmander’s unit.
            Step 3: Declare that every unit in your army with target locks is going to be adding their shooting to the commander’s unit. Commander’s PEN bonus, twin-linking, and ignores cover rules transfer to these other units since they are “firing as one unit.”
            Step 4: Use target locks to split whole units off to fire at whatever you actually wanted to shoot them at, if need be.

            In this way, you apply the commander’s signature system to every unit of suits in your army. Even if they don’t get the BS boost when they split fire, that’s still one hell of a nasty trick.

            It has a few downsides; having to pick targets for everything at once is a little sub-optimal if you fluff the rolls to kill something important, but still, ignores cover and tank hunter/monster hunter are very powerful rules, and being able to effectively give them to everyone is really strong.

            Is my analysis wrong? That’s what jumped out at me.

          • Kevin Lantz October 28, 2015 9:03 pm

            punchymango, most the things that can take a target lock would rather take something else.

            my standard go to’s are interceptor and skyfire.

            Here’s the next issue

            the special rules you’re worried about, don’t increase the damage against anything, they increase the accuracy and volume of damage, but they do not remove the tankiness of any target.

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:23 am #

      Very true. GW writes lots of awful rules, we don’t have to use any we don’t agree with.

  39. WestRider October 28, 2015 8:18 am #

    This is one where I go with a variation on Jervis’s Razor*. The original formulation stated “when in doubt about a rule, go with the interpretation that gives you the least advantage.” I have a modified version that I use now for greater consistency, given how many Armies I play and how often I’m going to end up on both sides of a given Rule. My modified version is “when in doubt, go with the interpretation that lowers the overall power level of the Game.” Even with the most conservative interpretations, there’s clear and steady power creep, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to want that reined in wherever ambiguity allows for it.

    *This is the only thing from Jervis I can think of off the top of my head that I actually like, btw.

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:17 am #

      Lol, that is a beautiful post!

  40. Sheit27 October 28, 2015 8:20 am #

    seems like we’ve got a big game of “I hate being beat by tau” players vs “I play tau and I’m ready for them to be relevant” players.

    • Mipps October 28, 2015 9:14 am #

      seems like that, pretty much yes! however isnt the current meta such that people don’t remember ever getting beaten by Tau? 🙂

      Some armies get absolutely pimp bonuses for using their “decurion” like the free upgrades and weapons for ad mech. And tau get “if all your units shoot at one target you get to be BS 4” which is comparatively pants, and doesnt fix the fact that Tau dont actually have an answer to the current trend of deathstars, however sharing USRs for shooting ONLY at the initially nominated unit would go some way to alleviating this gaping weakness.

      Or maybe im just dreaming for Tau to actually be able to stand up to Marines, Necrons and Deldar again

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:17 am #

      Not really. It’s more of a case of, this rule it utter insanity if you interpret it as an entire army gets every USR of every other model in it during the shooting phase.

      • Mipps October 28, 2015 9:27 am #

        That’s not what I would expect to happen. As soon as you split fire or target lock you are not part of the “super unit”. You are a seperate shooting attack against a seperate unit, no more +1 bs, only the USR for your original host unit.

        If 1800pts of tau want to combine to kill 300pts of scat bikes then the elder player is going to be howling with laughter

        • Reecius October 28, 2015 9:48 am #

          Mipps, though, what rule do you see supporting that? If Buffmander is a part of a unit of Crisis Suits, all of whom have a Target Lock, they all still get his buffs despite all firing at different targets. If you argue they all become one unit, the same rules apply, every model in the unit still gets the USR, no matter who they shoot at.

          And no, it won’t be a little unit of Scat Bikes, it will be the most powerful units that are eligible targets, every turn.

          • Mipps October 28, 2015 9:54 am

            True. That’s where the “must” kicks in for me. As soon as you aren’t shooting at the single nominated target you will not be resolving your shooting against the single nominated target. Therefore are not eligible for +1BS or shared rules from other units in the super unit. Now you are the base model shooting with your rules against the enemy. Resolving your shots as if they are a seperate shooting unit

          • Reecius October 28, 2015 10:12 am

            But again, literally nothing in the rules supports that. Here, let me explain:

            Normal rules for shooting: All models in the unit


            fire at the same target.

            It’s the exact same verbiage. If the word must somehow overrides all other rules, split fire, target lock, etc. would never function at all.

          • Mipps October 28, 2015 10:20 am

            Fair, as I said before I don’t play that often and this is as close to an outsiders reading as possible from me 🙂

            The issue is that neither interpretation really works, one says no special rules because you aren’t an official unit and our deathstars might get bummed….the other says they are a unit because the rule says they are when shooting thus all the specials rules count and we (tau) might not get bummed haha

            I will leave it to the people that are more savvy to figure out how it should work 🙂

      • Mipps October 28, 2015 9:40 am #

        Again maybe I’m dreaming but for me that’s where the lynch pin of the must shoot the nominated target and the includes markerlights kicks in..otherwise why state that you must shoot the same target and why specifically mention that being in a single unit for shooting includes markerlights

  41. Bryan October 28, 2015 10:10 am #

    Reece and frankie are truly on the path to damnation now, the road may be peeved with good intentions, but between GW writing, no FAQs and an increasingly steady stream of crazy rules, in a word, yous are “fubared” .

    My own reading of the rule was the sharing all the usrs under the sun, but I hope some consensus can be reached and settled upon, otherwise even as a tau player myself, I don’t want a rules debate every game. I’d probably go as far as just taking a cad to avoid that headache.

    • Bryan October 28, 2015 10:11 am #

      Paved even..

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 10:15 am #

      You are free to view this how you choose, which is your right and no big deal. But, I really do not think you are understanding the implications here. And while you see us as a community “on the path to damnation” lol, (just a tad of hyperbole?) we are trying to prevent the craziness, not adding to it. Seriously, just try playing a game with your entire army getting every USR of every model in it. It’s absurd.

      • Bryan October 28, 2015 10:29 am #

        I just meant that by putting yourselfs in the position where yous have to clean up after GWs mess and make articles/decisions like this, which seems to be cropping up more often, you’ve taken on one hell of a task where you’ll take flack whilst the original writer of the rules is sipping a coffee!

        Take for example if the tau codex trend is continued and csm get the same treatment, will yous step in and start to make more direct balance decisions, like the d weapon decision. That is what I meant by the path to damnation, just a joke that I don’t envy yous as the public facing people who have to make the hard decisions on rules you don’t even write! It’s a bit crazy when you think of it that way!

        I think its commendable and I’m happy yous are sorting this mess out and breaking down an explanation for the rules 🙂

        • Reecius October 28, 2015 10:46 am #

          Ah ok, sorry, misunderstood. And yeah, it can be a thankless task to try and plug your fingers in the leaking dyke of GWs rules. Thanks for the support, though!

          • Bryan October 28, 2015 10:54 am

            Oh don’t you worry, I come at it from a totally selfish point of view! My 1st reading was sharing the usrs, but I did not exactly examine the rules with a fine comb, yous fulfil that unenviable task, I’ve read more clear writing on complicated stuff whilst writing my thesis then GW rules! Now that is saying something!

            So at the end of the day I’ll just run with the itc FAQ and be glad some other poor souls did the graft (yous in this case!) whilst I sip a beer and watch the football.


  42. dr.insanotron October 28, 2015 10:13 am #

    I also want to point out that GMC’s have a rule that allow them to fire there weapons at different targets. they do not have a rule that let’s them fire at a different target then the rest of there unit

    • Reecius October 28, 2015 10:17 am #

      Sure, then under your reading 1 guy fires 1 gun at the “target unit” and they fire all 23 other weapons at whomever they choose.

      Or, each fires 1 gun at the target unit and the other 21 at whomever they choose.

      Makes extremely little difference.

      • dr.insanotron October 28, 2015 10:20 am #

        no because as soon as they fire a weapon at a different unit then they rest of it unit is firing you are wrong.

        • dr.insanotron October 28, 2015 10:21 am #

          basically the storm surge has to fire atleast one of it weapons at each of the targets the unit has chosen to target

          • dr.insanotron October 28, 2015 10:28 am

            here is what I’m saying. if the hole thing ends up counting as one unit for firing, the storm surge can never target a different unit then the unit of fire warriors “or who ever” targets. because it does not have a rule that allows it to

          • Reecius October 28, 2015 10:44 am

            Sure, we can read it your way but it makes hardly any difference.

          • asmodius October 28, 2015 2:30 pm

            I guess that means that a unit of stormsurges can’t shoot different targets from each other(regardless of the decurion rules). I would have assumed you could fire every stormsurge weapon at different targets for every one of the stormsurges.

  43. Rawdogger October 28, 2015 10:15 am #

    You people are all crazy.

    • Colinsherlow October 28, 2015 10:32 am #

      +1 dogger

      40k folk be all crazy and shit (myself be a 40k-er so don’t hate)! Remember that the world ends with every release…

      • dr.insanotron October 28, 2015 10:35 am #

        except the Dark Edgar releas 😉

        • Colinsherlow October 28, 2015 10:37 am #


          I am a Dark Eldar player. The corsairs will be my new dark eldar

          • Reecius October 28, 2015 10:45 am


        • Reecius October 28, 2015 10:45 am #

          Lol, true, haha =(

    • Moridan October 28, 2015 10:50 am #

      What he said.

      It simply amazes me that people legitimately and honestly think that the intention of this rule is to allow the entire army to share USRs. Feel free to rant on about the “words” in the rule, certainly… this is the society where the most powerful man on the planet was trying to argue the meaning of the word “the”. But put yourself on the table against someone with OPTION 1 above, how much fun do you think you will have?

      • Jo October 28, 2015 11:48 am #

        I dunno. I’ll give a shit about the other guy’s fun int tournament play when they stop fielding Wraith spam or 3000 point armies in a 2000 point game because of free point formations.

        In order to share all those special rules, you gotta be shooting at one target. So yeah, let’s say it’s option 1. Oh no! The buffmander is gonna be boosting at least two other units against one enemy unit per turn! The more units you share your SRs with, the fewer targets you get to bring your coordinated fire against. Shots will absolutely be wasted. And if Target Lock let you bypass that and spread that fire around, and you managed to coordinate your fire in an elegant and efficient way like the image above shows, then you deserve it. Those situations aren’t going to fall into your lap, you’ve got to arrange it.

        This is like people whining about the Stormsurge firing D missiles. Yeah, a unit of Stormsurges could potentially fire 12 D shots at twelve different targets in turn 1…. If you spend nearly 1400 points /and/ manage to tag 12 different units with markerlights. And it’d require 4 markerlights per target to get BS5, Ignore Cover, and 1 D Missile. And even then, that’s still not guaranteed to hit. If you tell me that you managed 48 markerlights in turn 1 and unloaded all of your Stormsurge D missiles against a different target, I won’t say, “Crap, that’s OP.” I’d say, “Wow, well done, man. You earned that and it must have felt great.”

    • Jural October 28, 2015 12:13 pm #

      Right? 80% of us only collect the models and paint them, why do we even care what the rules say?

  44. Mike Bass October 28, 2015 10:52 am #

    Wow. I understand that you guys are trying to start the discussion, but it sounds like you have already made up your mind before the codex gets here. It’s funny because I read the rule almost the same way the three “experts” did. It looks like one of the most powerful options in the new codex and we are already considering a nerf? Gladius is the most powerful option in the space marine codex but that didn’t get nerfed. Free transports didn’t get nerfed but we are considering nerfing something that at the most effective will twin link against a deathstar. It’s like you said deathstars don’t care about ignores cover. Thing about it is the way the itc format is set up deathstars are winning most of your events. It looks like this will need to be put to vote, instead of getting nerfed out of existence.

    • Mipps October 28, 2015 11:00 am #

      No point Mike…considering how the other tau votes have gone (from what I have heard and seen in itc rules packs) this won’t get through either.

      Just odd considering 3 of the people quoted basically agreed with sharing rules but everyone is hanging off the one that didnt

      • White925 October 28, 2015 1:20 pm #

        What are you talking about? Tau just got a unit of Stormsurges through the vote?

      • Reecius October 28, 2015 1:20 pm #

        Oh you mean like the vote that just passed to let Tau use their experimental rules suits…

  45. Chris October 28, 2015 11:49 am #

    I personally don’t find the rule all that ambiguous, I think it’s an order of operations and rules precedence issue.

    Codex says Units A, B, and C can combine fire in the shooting phase, treated as if all are part of Unit X, which is presumed to have already existed (or was already formed at some point prior, non-traditionally (idest, through movement into coherency)). This precludes rulebook arguments about forming units and which unit types can form units with others, because they’re not forming one, they’re temporarily becoming one within the restrictions set forth by the Codex.

    An attack is declared by Unit A, and by the time it becomes the incoherent Unit X, it has already begun the attack, precluding any attempt to Run back into unit coherency. Had Unit X been created prior to declaring the attack, then yes, it would have to Run to return to coherency – but it wasn’t, it became Unit X after the attack began. If a Unit loses or does not have coherency, it is still considered a Unit and thus it is my understanding that USRs are still shared. The only thing losing coherency does is necessitate a movement at some point in the future back into coherency.

    When the shooting is resolved, Unit X transforms back into Units A, B, and C, thus precluding any return to coherency in the player’s next Movement Phase.

    As for splitting fire, it states that the units must fire at the same target – not models within those units (who are also taking advantage of shared USRs by virtue of being part of Unit X), so models with target locks can operate normally with all of the benefits of USRs.

    It doesn’t seem all that circular, it seems that people are hung up on forming units through movement into coherency (not what’s happening here), what a unit is (irrelevant to the order of operations that took place), and how fair it is (also irrelevant to RAW).

  46. Putzfrau October 28, 2015 12:19 pm #

    It seems like the difference would lie in the buffmander’s rules not the coordinated fire rule. The buffamnder gives his rule to his unit. The army then SHOOTS as if they are one unit (resolved as…) but that doesnt necessarily mean they are a single unit… so how would they benefit from a rule where they NEED to be part of that unit?

    They never become part of the unit, therefore never gain the USR.

    The rules even go out of there way to specify that marker lights apply to the whole army. It seems like they would continue to make a specific call out (all marker lights and USR apply) but they did not.

    It seems like there is a reason they chose to call out marker lights and nothing else.

    I dunno. /shrug.

    • Morollan October 29, 2015 2:11 am #

      “It seems like the difference would lie in the buffmander’s rules not the coordinated fire rule. The buffamnder gives his rule to his unit. The army then SHOOTS as if they are one unit (resolved as…) but that doesnt necessarily mean they are a single unit… so how would they benefit from a rule where they NEED to be part of that unit?

      They never become part of the unit, therefore never gain the USR. ”

      You need to understand what “as if” and “counts as” etc mean. If we are told that a unit does something “as if” it were something else then, for the purposes of the specified action we treat the unit as it if were that something. So any rules that apply to that something will apply to the unit for the specific purpose.

      Example: Unit A (Infantry) has a special rule that says it is treated as if it was Jump Infantry in the movement phase. When it moves in the movement phase, Unit A benefits from the Skyborne rules and can move up to 12″. It does not get to re-roll it’s charge distance, fall back 3d6″ or gain the Bulky or Deep Strike rules. They are not Jump Infantry but they are treated as if they were for the duration of the movement phase.

      Similarly, when we are told that the units in the Hunter Contingent resolve their shots as if they were a single unit they do no actually become a single unit but they benefit from any rules that apply to models in the unit. The Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite says “all Shooting attacks made by other models in his unit gain the Ignores Cover special rule until the end of the current phase”. When resolving their shooting attacks, all models engaged in the Coordinated Firepower action are treated as if they were a single unit and therefore they gain the benefit of the MSSS and apply the Ignores Cover special rule to their shooting.

      If, as Reece suggests, they don’t benefit from that rule, then they are not resolving their shooting attack as if they were a single unit.

      People may not like this rule and the ITC is of course free to change it if they wish but I’d just prefer it if they simply said “This is too strong, we’re nerfing it” rather than trying to dress it up in some spurious RAW argument.

      • Putzfrau October 29, 2015 6:12 am #

        I understand that 🙂

        I was implying there is a difference between “shoots as if one unit” and “resolve the shooting as if one unit ”

        When the individual units fire they are in separate squads and are not treated as the same squad. It’s only as you resolve the fire white that the SHOTS are treated as if fired from one unit. But you can’t retroactively apply a US to a shit already fired

        • Putzfrau October 29, 2015 6:18 am #

          Hehe shot* spellcheck is hilarious

        • Morollan October 29, 2015 6:48 am #

          But the shot has not been fired. The coordinated firepower action takes place at the “Choose a Target” stage of the shooting sequence (step 2). USR’s such as Ignores Cover, twin-linked, monster hunter etc do not come into effect until later in the sequence. (step 6, 4 and 5 respectively). During that period, the units involved are treated as a single unit for the purposes of resolving the shooting attacks. They therefore benefit from those rules until such time as you move onto a shooting attack that is not part of the coordinated firepower action (or move into the assault phase).

          • Putzfrau October 29, 2015 10:11 am

            But it doesnt.

            “any number of other units from the same Detachment who can still shoot can add their firepower to the attack. These units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit”

            They are only treated “as a single unit” When the shots are being resolved, not when they are fired.

            By separating “these units must shoot” and “resolving as if one unit” there is a clear distinction between when they are units (plural) and when they are treated as the same unit. That distinction falls after the target has been selected and before shots are resolved.

  47. Requizen October 28, 2015 1:13 pm #

    I think this may be something that needs to go to a vote. The different interpretations are just so disparate that every Tau game would turn into a 30 minute shouting match if it’s not clearly stated how to play it in event FAQs.

    • Narfwak October 28, 2015 2:09 pm #

      I agree, I think a vote with two questions would be reasonable. One question for sharing USRs or not, and one question for being able to use Target Locks after declaring the Coordinated Fire attack.

    • Kwodd October 28, 2015 7:08 pm #


  48. RK October 28, 2015 2:02 pm #

    The more sensible reading is correct and you dont get to spread the buffs around. It will be ruled like this in every big tournament out there and is clearly the intent.

    So yeah, keep dreaming if you wanted it the other way around. Just not happening and obviously not intended.

    • Morollan October 29, 2015 2:14 am #

      Is correct based on what? Your opinion I assume. Not, you know, the rules that GW actually wrote.

  49. Infernoed October 28, 2015 2:19 pm #

    If GW really wanted to allow all powers to transfer and can split fire. Wouldn’t have been way easier in the new book to have army upgrades like 15points all units ignore cover. Lol come on people really that’s basically what you are implying

  50. Kwodd October 28, 2015 3:30 pm #

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

    This is obviously broken, please fix it.

    Thanks in advance.


  51. Jural October 28, 2015 3:42 pm #

    You know what would be awesome? If a Tau player shot every model in his army this way, had horrible luck with scattering, and killed enough members that he forced a morale check in the shooting phase which he failed… All while being too close to a board edge. I would be willing to stipulate the rule can be intepreted as advantageously as possible if only I could guarantee this would happen to someone using it at the final table of a major event.

  52. jy2 October 28, 2015 3:45 pm #

    I can’t believe the craziness going on currently.

    The “older” Tau codex is already a top-notch codex. Sure, you may have some problems against particular deathstar builds, but 7-8 of the other armies have problems against Tau.

    Now the newer dex is coming out. Nothing has basically changed from last edition. Instead, GW has piled on new units and new rules. An already-very-good codex has just gotten much, much stronger even with the more conservative intepretations of their new rules. With combined Markerlights, they now have the ability to really put the hurt on what was once their weakness, the deathstars.

    But wait, that isn’t enough. We need wargear buffs and the sharing of USR’s as well? That is unbelievably powerful. I’m talking super-saiyan here. It is one thing when you buff 1 unit. I’ve got no problems with that. It is something else entirely when you buff a force-multiplier. Now the army isn’t just 2x as good. It’s 5x, 10x or maybe even 20x better. You buff 1 unit, then 1 unit gets better. You buff 1 force-multiplier, 10 or maybe even up to 20 units get better. As Reece said, many of the people just don’t realize the implications of what Reading #1 leads to on the tabletop (or maybe they do but just don’t give a shit).

    For the health of the community, please let’s tone it down a notch. The new Tau are still top-tier and super-good even without the over-the-top intepretation of Reading #1.

  53. dunlivin October 28, 2015 5:02 pm #

    The way I see the rule, is in order to get the benefits, you MUST shoot at the nominated unit. If you use a target lock to shoot another unit, it is not the nominated unit, therefore no buffs to spread. Same with the GC. Nominate which of his shooting attacks target the nominated unit, and they get the buffs. If they are used on another unit, no buffs.

    I can see Reece’s point of view here, having the coordinated firepower happening first, and then saying all of the units who participated get the buff, and then a model with target lock or GC shooting someone else with 2 other units, giving them the buffs, etc. That does not make any sense. It’s like a wookie on Endor….

  54. Dbiesto October 28, 2015 6:25 pm #

    I read this wtf rule over 10 times now and I’m still confused as hell.

    “Whenever a unit from a Hunter Contingent selects a target in the shooting phase, any number of other units from the same Detachment who can still shoot can add their firepower to the attack. These units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit–this includes the use of Marker Light abilities. When 3 or more units combine their firepower, the firing models add 1 to their Ballistic Skill.”

    I’m starting to think RAW states that all 3+ units must target that unit, even if they can normally choose to split fire. It even says any number of other units add their firepower to the attack. I think the only thing that would be a loophole in this rule is if you first pick a unit of yours, then target one enemy unit with X shots, but then you can split fire and still activate the combined firepower. It sounds like only the first unit can split fire before you decide to combine firepower, since you must resolve all shooting of one unit before switching to another in the shooting phase. This probably isn’t helping ?, just another opinion. This probably needs a vote as a community for the ITC since GW doesn’t consider some factors in their rules.

  55. Mipps October 29, 2015 2:14 am #

    So once more into the breach dear tau haters/lovers 🙂

    This is not my work below but is from a group (admittedly tau) that I follow on FB. so here goes:

    “USRs and Buffmander abilities do transfer to all units firing using the support fire special rule. I think this will clear up the ambiguity.

    First I need to clear up why the wording on the markerlights issue.

    Target Acquired

    Markerlights cannot directly cause damage or wounds. Instead, each time a unit suffers a hit with this special rule, Place a markerlight counter next to it (no saves can be taken against these hits). Markerlight counters remain next to their unit until the end of the current phase or until they are used (whichever comes first.)
    Immediately before a unit with the Tau Empire Faction shoots at a target that has any markerlight counters, it can declare it is using one or more of the marker light abilities listed to the right. Each ability costs a number of markerlight counters remove this number of counters from the target immediately when the ability is declared. A unit can combine any number of markerlight abilities providing that there are enough counters.

    The important part about the rule is paragraph 2. “Immediately before a unit with the Tau Empire Faction shoots at a target that has any markerlight counters, it can declare it is using one or more of the marker light abilities listed to the right.” Markerlights are a non-USR Faction ability that is applied BEFORE the attack.


    All models firing as part of this shooting attack gain a bonus to their ballistic skill for the duration of the shooting attack. The size of this bonus is equal to the number of markere light counters expended on this ability. Pinpoint can increase the ballistic skill of Snap Shots and Overwatch.
    With Pinpoint the models gain a bonus to the ballistic skill, not the unit.


    All wounds, glancing hits and penetrating hits allocated to the target as part of this shooting attack gain the ignores cover special rule.
    With Scour, the ability is applied to the wounds, glancing hits and penetrating hits allocated to the target. Again it’s not the unit and not a USR.

    Coordinated Firepower

    Whenever a unit from a hunter contingent selects a target in the shooting phase, any number of other units from the same Detachment who can still shoot can add their firepower to the attack. These units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit- this includes the use of marker light abilities. When 2 or more units combine their firepower, the firing models add 1 to their ballistic skill.

    Marker light abilities are listed separately because they don’t affect the firing unit but its models before firing and the attacks resulting wounds, glances and penetrating hits. It is not conferred as a USR.

    Command and Control Node

    If a model with this wargear does not shoot in the shooting phase, all shooting attacks made by other models in this unit re-roll failed to hit rolls until the end of the phase. This cannot be used when firing overwatch. The node can be used at the same time as a multi-spectrum sensor suite.

    Multi-spectrum Sensor Suite

    If a model with the Multi-spectrum sensor suite does not shoot in the shooting phase, all shooting attacks made by other models in his unit gain Ignores covef special rule until the end of the phase. This cannot be used when firing overwatch. A multi-spectrum sensor suite can be used at the same time as a command and control node.

    The line “…all other models in this unit…” in Command and Control node and, “…all shooting attacks made by other models in this unit…” in Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite, define them as UNIT abilities. Coordinated Firepower says, “These units must shoot the same target, resolving their shots as if they were a single unit…”

    Because C&C Node and M3S are abilities that are conferred to the unit and all units firing using coordinated firepower resolve their shots as if they were a single unit, they apply, along with all other unit USRs.

    Because of the line “…- this includes the use of marker light abilities…” was specifically added, that means the non-USR markerlight special abilities apply to all models firing using coordinated firepower in that attack and all wounds, Glances and Pens applied to the target.

    Drop mic.”

    • Kevin Lantz October 29, 2015 4:46 am #

      while I appreciate your break down, the problem is not in the wording of the rule, it’s that reecius (and therefore the itc) do not like it.

      Hence their “FAQ” rather than nerfing. one they can do with their structure of rules they established without a vote, the other requires a poll.

    • dunlivin October 29, 2015 8:47 am #

      The buffs are given to the shooting attacks of the other models in the buffmanders unit, if he does not shoot. It does not give them to the models.

      To be a part of the coordinated firepower unit, you must shoot the target.

      If the commander is buffing, he is not shooting. Therefore, only the shooting attacks of models that are a part of both the buffmander unit and coordinated firepower unit get the buff. The others that are a part of the uberunit are not a part of the buffmander unit, therefore no buff.

      I would say look at the cadre fireblade and ambushes and feints. 3 units of firewarriors don’t move in movement phase, run in shooting phase, and then fire an additional time in shooting phase. Add an ethereal for 4 shots at half range each. :p

      • Kevin Lantz October 29, 2015 10:22 am #

        that is some convoluted and incorrect logic.

        first off, to be part of the coordinated firepower unit, you must be part of a unit shooting at a target with two other units. (you yourself do not have to shoot just the unit you’re with)

        your logic on the commander paragraph is wrong, because it explicitly says as if one unit for the shooting attack.

        and your last paragraph, all those points are irrelevant because they are only a unit for the shooting attack.

  56. Archon-Kalafex October 29, 2015 7:22 am #

    If there was ever a time you thought to yourself “here comes the hate!” before you posted an article this was it. Lol. I have to agree with the all units are seperate units arguement because you can still marker light and pass buffs that way in typical Tau fashion. All I see is a gimmick rule to sell models, not a game breaking formation. Even if it was as insane as some speculate why would you even want to play with that? Let alone against it. This needs reigned in before we get a worse version of 5th ed Grey Knights, and nobody wants that.

    • Kevin Lantz October 29, 2015 8:07 am #

      let me ask you a question, do you think it’s insane if one unit has to re-roll all failed armor saves against massive shooting that’s twinlinked and hitting on 3+?

      because this is essentially at worst, twin linked, no cover saves, preferred enemy.

      • Archon-Kalafex October 29, 2015 2:00 pm #

        You are talking about one unit, not an entire army. And no thats not even close to what you can actually accomplish with this rule. Why are you even wasting your time defending this on multiple fronts? The only context of this article is theoretical. This will get voted on and what happens happens and the results of that vote are purely optional as well. So the way you play it is still up to your play group.

  57. Sadclown October 29, 2015 9:46 am #

    Kevin no I do not considering Marines have all of that minus ignores cover, unless white scars. All it takes is stacking doctrines. Tau also would be at a disadvantage because they are underkilling, overkilling or not get the benefit of their butfs since they have to decare all of their shooting before resolving it to receive the benefits of buffmander. Given all of the precision shots that are out there, at least for the Imperium of man, how hard is it going to be to kill him? Or Barriage sniping. Even burying him in a unit it will be no stronger than T4. We arent talking Ovesa atar toughness levels. His only reaiy defense would be to bugout if he is an Coldstar suit.

    • Kevin Lantz October 29, 2015 10:27 am #

      actually I was referring to eldar lol, but my point is the “overpower hermergerd” reaction is silly when many armies already have similar levels of special rules flying around for everything they shoot at, yet you don’t see people crying out for them to get nerfed nor do you see those special rules dominating every game.

      • Putzfrau October 29, 2015 10:47 am #

        Ignore cover is the big one i think. I think that’s definitely in the 2+ rerollable territory, if not better than.

  58. alex yuen October 29, 2015 1:55 pm #

    I don’t have the book so i can’t say which one is right but I can voice my support

  59. Thejughead October 29, 2015 2:23 pm #

    Hey Reece,

    I want to apologize if my comments sounded harsh. I completely understand the balancing act you are trying do. Either decision you make will be a bad one for somebody. Tau is my first love and my passion and I knee jerked in my earlier comments.I know your intentions are for the good of the game.

    I ask you take a few steps when evaluating what is the correct action:

    1. Play using Interpretation #1 versus Dark Puppy
    2. Play using Interpretation #2 versus Dark Puppy
    3. Play using Interpretation #1, but Target Lock and Split Fire is overridden by Coordinated Fire versus Dark Puppy

    I think its very tough on a Tau player to think logically ahead to get everyone into position #2 and #3. I concede #1 is OP and as abusive as other things out there.

    Good gaming and may cooler heads prevail.

  60. Thejughead October 29, 2015 3:04 pm #

    Also what would the ruling be for the Optimized Stealth Cadre firing the Gun Port formation?

    • Kevin Lantz October 29, 2015 11:06 pm #

      it’s the unit firing, not the gurin, so all rules apply that the unit benefits from… same as if darkstrikder fired it

  61. Thane October 30, 2015 2:34 am #

    I very rarely get into any discussions about the game rules, as I can find logic in most of what people consider to be ambiguous or poorly worded. Perhaps that is because I am a lawyer and legal acts are often worded in a similar fashion 😛 It would be a wonderful world if everyone drafting “rules” for anything followed the principles of clear writing, that is usually not the case. The rule above however is a special case (as you will soon find out).

    GW writes the rules using techniques similar to legal drafting – while the skill level of their writers is not what I would call “great”, it is, as far as I am concerned, sufficient to make themselves clear. The “Hunter Cadre” rule nonwithstanding, GW rules are not too hard to interpret – if they are rational or not, or good for the game, is an entirely different matter.

    My input here would be that Reece is in fact correct. Why so? Because in “gamesworkshopese”, similar to legalese, you need to interpret sentences with the following principles (only the relevant):
    – the creator of law is assumed to be rational and will use the least ammount of words to get the point across – needles words are ommited, simple, commanding sentences are used,
    – if a rule can be referenced, it is – never draft a rule if you can use an already-existing one, redundancies must be avoided at all costs (this is like legal drafting 101),
    – whenever a regulation references another regulation, and the one referenced is conditional, always clearly state which conditions apply and which do not.

    As you can clearly see, the last principle is broken here – a rule is referenced (a unit shooting) but it is not clearly stated “how far do you take it”, so to speak. From a purely legal standpoint, in such a case, you take it only as far as it is neccessary to make it work (creator is assumed to be rational, point one). Thus, you must assume that the rule for “shooting like a unit” is referenced only to avoid redundancy and must be applied in regards to pooling shots, dividing them among different profile weapon, figuring out which to resolve first and then applying wounds (where to start casualty removal etc.). As an added benefit, you get markerlight boni (as they are used earlier). You do not, and cannot, go further than that, because it is not required for the rule to work – because of this, you don’t “stretch” the rule to include conferring USRs.

    For the rule to work like stated in #1, it would have to read more or less like this (taking into account GW technique of writing rules):
    Whenever a unit from a Hunter Contingent selects a target in the shooting phase, any number of other units from the same Detachment who can still shoot can add their firepower to the attack. For the purpose of making their attack, these units are treated as a single unit for the duration of the Shooting phase. When 3 or more units combine their firepower, the firing models add 1 to their Ballistic Skill.

    Only then we could interpret the rule as stated in #1 – because we have a different rule, avoiding the statment of “treating multiple units as if they were one unit”, which would need to be made if anything else than rules for resolving shooting with multiple weapons, ballistic skills etc. was involved, we need to interpret it stricly. #1 interpretation is not strict – it “stretches” the rule to involve different rules only on the principle of using similar words. If I write “in terms of warranty, the contract is resolved according to the rules governing sales agreements”, you cannot stretch my words to include other rulings that apply to sales agreements, simply because the words “sales agreement” are used. I hope that helps someone see the point Reece is making.

    Sorry for a wall of text ; )

    Mandatory TL:DR – Reece is right because principles governing interpretation of rules sayeth so.

  62. Mipps October 30, 2015 4:30 am #

    So I emailed GW….below is their response, I know this prob won’t change people’s opinion but hey ho!

    • Thane October 30, 2015 4:51 am #

      Well if that is the case guys who write the rules need some serious education in principles of clear writing, as interpreting the rule this way would actually require the reader to break quite a few of the most basic principles in rule interpretation by adding the assumption that the statement references several rules instead of just the ones that are mandatory for the rule to work ;]

  63. FrankDar October 30, 2015 4:42 am #


    All youre Problems for Concept 1 are Falls.

    First, that the unit most be in 2″
    if the rule would be working in a move phase youre correct.

    Secons Joining MOnstros Creatures.
    But there ist nothing about joining, they are just a Unit.

    for Buffcommander and ignore cover i would say i could follow you.
    but Tankhunter works for the hole unit if a model has it.

    • FrankDar October 30, 2015 7:59 am #

      Sorry, maybee i wrote it missleading.

      You have to check for Running. It´s correct.


      we are in Subphase 3 of shooting.
      And there is no checking for Running.


      If i follow youre ruling,

      what is if the 3 units have a formation of max 2″ disdance?

      Same is, you say they form one Unit and they have to use the formation rule.
      But the other rule for special rules that are shared in the unit does not count?

  64. s1ckn1ck October 30, 2015 6:04 am #

    if you rule-lawyer gw nothing is won.

    read Mipps link – it’s not how they think.

    of course they wanted the bunch of guys become a single unit with all the benefits. they think it is cool (fluff wise it realy is!).

    thats why they make a flying commander – it roams thru the air, points at a stormraven and he and the broadsides on the ground shoot it down with his skyfire rule.

    the relfex of the waacs to make the transfer of usr a viral thing via split fire is gw-style taken caer of. “must choose the same target” says it all.

    i for one allow any tau to use that rule against me in the “one combinded unit – one set of usr” way.

    • Jughead October 31, 2015 11:03 am #

      Skyfire doesn’t transfer, but it would be cool if it did.

  65. CaptKurt October 30, 2015 7:32 am #

    I thought that I would weigh in here, as both a Tau player and a tournament TO who is going to have to rule on this at some point. Much of this is a re-hash of discussion already presented above.

    Reasonable (how reasonable is still up for debate) Interpretations:
    1.) If 3 or more units participate, all get +1 BS and can share Markerlight buffs on the target unit.
    2.) #1 plus any buffs provided by the commander applied to all units firing.
    3.) #1 & 2 plus any USR buffs provided by other ICs attached to any/all of the units
    4.) #1, 2 & 3 plus All USRs from all units involved are applied to all units shooting.

    In any case…the selected target must be fired at by all units involved…however other special rules that override normal target selection, such as GMC or Target Locks can still be used…but do NOT benefit from any of the special rules conferred by the Combine Fire (since they are not in fact combining their fire). So you can still use your “split fire” type special rules, but lose all benefits of the Combined Fire stuff.

    Range to target and LOS are still considerations to be taken into account, with regards to how many units/models can actually fire at the designated target.

    Also to consider is the fact that the target selection is made for all units involved in the attack at one time. Nothing stops all of these units from firing at the same target individually, and for the most part that gives far more options to the Tau than this combine fire does.

    If it were only option 1…its just ok at best. If it were option 2, I would say that this is a pretty reasonable and useful ability, in exchange for the reduced options in targeting. If going with option 2, then truly it seems as if option 3 should be allowed, since all the ICs are now part of the temporary combined unit for firing, so would seems that the rules support all special rules being applied (though it feels like from a RAI standpoint, only the formations commander’s buffs should be applied.)

    Option 4, seems way OP and feels like it is not supported by either the actual rules (the units do not truly become the same unit) or the intent of the formation. Because the USRs on a given unit are inherent to that unit, either by a unit upgrade, or simply core rules to that unit. They are not given to that by someone else…unlike certain ICs which can pass their abilities to whatever unit they are part of.

    Generally speaking, the Broadside Bash follows the ITC guidelines and FAQ, in order to remain consistent with other tournaments. So we will likely follow the lead provided by them on this issue.

  66. tiberius183 October 30, 2015 10:44 am #

    Honestly, I’ll probably never field the Hunter Contingent anyway. Doesn’t match my playstyle. I’ll be more “in your face” with Y’vahras, Breachers, Optimised Stealth Cadres, and infiltrating/outflanking Kroot… 🙂

  67. masos October 30, 2015 12:44 pm #

    Haha wow. This is pretty crazy response. I think it should be played that MC / FMC can’t be included but who am I… nobody. This is some loose lip rule wording. It’s pretty bad on GW’S part

  68. PrimoFederalist October 30, 2015 3:25 pm #

    I can’t believe people actually thing that every single special rule from their entire army should transfer to every single other unit which has at least one model shooting at the target.

    I really didn’t believe people would try to shoehorn that interpretation into existence, but my faith in humanity was misplaced.

  69. Adam Abramowicz October 31, 2015 3:27 am #

    I’ve given more thought to this. Think of Librarians or any other pysker for that matter. They can provide army wide USRs on the reg to nearly any friendly unit they wish. Tau obviously cannot compete in the psychic game. I’m feeling more and more okay with this ruling. Reece, what are your thoughts? Looking forward to your playtest.

  70. ccrraazzyyman November 1, 2015 3:57 pm #

    White dwarf team chimed in and said that USR’s are shared.

  71. DevianID November 2, 2015 11:13 pm #

    Howdy, as a tau player I figured I would chime in. First, while I doubt that Reece is still reading this low, having a restriction of needing to run for coherency is no problem, as tau units in the very same hunter formation that grants coordinated fire can run and then shoot. Second, the fire base support cadre also gets a version of the rule, illustrating that mixing MCs and units is fine, and that unit also gets tank hunter and monster hunter, plus lots of target lock access. Next we see that marker lights already ignore cover, plus many other tau weapons get ignore cover. So a buff commander is 135 points of mostly redundant rules in all fairness.

    Is it good? Yeah. How much better is it than what I took before? Not much. Appearances are deceiving. In my old tau list, I didn’t even take a full buff commander, I only took pure tide engram for monster hunter and a drone controller, I left twin linked and ignores cover at home, as I had 12 marker lights and tank hunter/prefered enemy on the fire base cadre with 6 target locks. In the new book, the fire base gets monster hunter already, still has target locks, and still uses marker lights. I can legitimately drop the buff comander entirely now as a waste of points if I wanted to field my old list.

    I caution against sky falling reactions. Tau already twin link ignore cover as a base rule on their main weapon system, the smart missiles, ignored cover as a pretty much army wide rule against one unit like a Death Star, already got free tank hunter with the fire base, already split fire a bunch, ect. The new book just makes it more obvious how to get the things they already do. Target locks are a tax on top of a 135 point buff commander tax in the new book. Sharing rules you already could get that you still pay for with a restrictive formation is nothing compared to gladius getting 700 points of free razors if they want to.

    However, I think the most humorous point of this is that the hunter formation allows units to each benefit from 20+15+15 points of “free” war gear taken on a 135 point model. If only there were some other army formation that allowed all its units to benefit from, I don’t know, 55 points or so of free war gear and special rules like, I don’t know, scout maybe. Only then would this formation begin to make sense lol.

    Granted that last paragraph was tongue in cheek, but the point still stands that the tau formation rules wise equates to the same point bonus in free stuff as a gladius. It’s almost like the two are fair and balanced against each other while being separate and fluffy? Like I said, it’s hilarious.

  72. Caleb Patterson November 3, 2015 3:17 pm #

    an interesting thing that no one has brought up with this rule is “shots as if they were a single unit” and range…specifically since Tau are able to benifit units within 6″ or 12″ of an ethereal the potential for abuse without the buffmander is still super high…definitely anti death star

    The irony is this second combination reading doesn’t necessarily feel wrong given the Space marines ability in close combat to add tons of commander buffs to squads in multi-assaults. what the Tau now have for shooting others have already had in assault.

  73. ccrraazzyyman November 3, 2015 5:41 pm #

    I’d like to take a minute and dissect the counterpoints you made to ‘option 1’. You said,
    “In order for models to form a unit, they must be in unit coherency. Pg.9, 19 BRB.”
    I don’t disagree with that, as it’s a basic rule for forming a unit. However, the combined unit fires as if they were a single unit, so coherency doesn’t matter as after the shot they’re not a unit any more.

    If you allow the units to form a single unit during a particular shot and allow them to resolve markerlight effects, then if you don’t allow them to share SR’s that state they effect the unit, then you’re not treating them as if they were a single unit.

    • ccrraazzyyman November 3, 2015 5:43 pm #

      Somehow deleted half my post =\ Here’s the rest xD

      “Models not in unit coherency must attempt to get back into unit coherency, including running if they have that option. Pg. 19 BRB”
      This is also correct, and is checked BEFORE you get to declare a target for shooting. Simply by being eligible to shoot, you are coherent. This means coherency doesn’t matter to the combined unit.

      “Independent Characters cannot form a unit with Monstrous Creatures, Gargantuan Creatures or vehicles. Pg.166, 70 BRB”
      You actually mis-quoted that. It says IC’s cannot JOIN units that contain MC/vehicles. The rules for joining are done at the end of the models movement, not during the shooting phase. This means a temporary unit of IC + MC + vehicle is not breaking the rules.

Leave a Reply